Reading Strategies- Goals 3 and 4

Hey, guys! How was your week? I hope it has been incredible. We have had a week full of a birthday party, swimming, cooking out on the grill, card games and so much more!

This week we are diving into Goals 3 and 4. I hope you enjoyed reading the goals as much as me.

Goal 3

Supporting Print Work

When I first began reading this chapter, the first sentence really stuck out. It was one that had me reflecting (again). "In order to construct accurate meaning from a text, children need to read words correctly, integrating three sources of information: meaning, syntax, and visual." (pg 76)  WOW! That is a lot of balls for a student learning to read to juggle. Naturally, it would be difficult for them to use all 3 concepts correctly all the time when learning to read. As teachers, we have an incredible opportunity to give them the tools/strategies they need to use all three when reading. 

How do I know if this goal is right for my students?

Running records is the best tool we have as teachers to know. There is a wealth of knowledge we learn about where a student is, in the reading process when we look at their running records. What type of mistakes are they making? Do they go back and re-read when it doesn't sound like a book? Are they missing the vowel sound, changing the beginning, middle or end of a word? Do they substitute a word for one they know (but it still might make sense in the story)? I always learn so much when I evaluate what they are doing while they are reading.

What do you use for running records? Our district currently uses F&P for the beginning, middle and end of the year. The rest of the time, my running records come from books in our literacy closet or Learning A-Z readers.

Now for the good stuff! I want to share with you a few of my favorite strategies from this goal.

3.4 Does That Sound Like a Book?

This strategy is suitable for any level and any type of text. It is also a strategy that I have often used in my guided reading time ( of my favorite times of the day 😉). 

I really like how she changed the language in this strategy. Up to this point, there were times I had said, "Does that make sense?" In doing so, I did not realize how this might affect my ELL's.  I like how she explained that the words they read have to sound like a book.  In making a simple change such as this, it could really help some of my students. 

3.14 Run Into the First Part

I like how she explains that looking at the first few letters of a word you are getting a "running" start and what kid doesn't like to get a head start! 😉 "...when children slow down to approach an unknown word, they drop the meaning from the entire beginning of the sentence and just start puzzling over the word." (pg 93) Yes! Yes! Yes! I couldn't agree more. Something to keep in mind when using this strategy is when a word has a digraph. We want them to see the digraph as one sound. The same can be said for blends. If it is a muli-syllable word, we want to give them the tools they need to break it apart and use the strategy for each syllable.

I can't wait to try out this strategy during the school year with my students using the prompts she provided. 

3.18 Cover and Slide

I love using this strategy in my guided reading groups. I have found it really helps some of my babies not feeling overwhelmed when reading a word that "looks" like it might be difficult. Sometimes my students come to an unknown word and stop altogether. They try the "I don't know that word" even before attempting to break it apart. When I first use this strategy with my students, I show them how to cover up part of the word as they are reading and we break it apart then put it back together. After awhile, I see my students applying this strategy when they are independently reading.

Goal 4

Teaching Fluency

I love, love, love how she explained what type of fluency is acceptable at specific reading levels.  It was also exciting to see that she is not a fan of the dreaded stop watch being used to determine fluency. I always have students who get nervous when the stop watch is pulled out to "time" their reading. 

Using a blank piece of paper for a running record, we can add a slash to show how many words a student read in a phrase.

4.5 Say Good-Bye to Robot Reading

This strategy is teaching kids to read a few words at a time instead of reading word by word. One thing I like to do with this strategy is to pull up the Go Noodle song, Don't Read Like a Robot. They LOVE this song, and it would be an excellent introduction to this strategy.

4.9 Partners Help to Smooth It Out

Do you have your students read with a partner during your literacy block? My students LOVE reading with their buddy. 

I like how it is teaching students to not only listen to themselves reading but also their partner. It would help cut down on the times the partner is spending more time looking at what is happening around them instead of being a buddy when reading. Focusing on the phrase you want them to repeat to their partner will help give them the tools they need to help one another read. The active listening rate would definitely increase using this strategy.

4.15 Warm-Up Phrases

This strategy is a quick practice for students to read phrases that show up in books. This will help them practice reading phrases in books. 

One way I incorporate this in our Literacy Block is in our "Fluency" Station. This station has leveled sets of phrases for students to practice reading. They also choose what type of voice they want to read the phrases in. They take turns reading the phrases with a partner and a minute timer. The timer helps them take turns quickly without arguing. They LOVE this station and frequently hear giggles. 

Well, that is a few of my favorites from this week's goals. Do you have a goal that stuck out to you this week? Is there a strategy that you would love to try out this next school year? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts below. 

See you next week with Goals 5 and 6. 



  1. Hi Kara. Thanks so much for sharing the Go Noodle song about robot reading. I am going to have to check that out! Also, the cover and slide was one of my favorites too. When I taught first grade, I loved to do this at the beginning of the year with student names in the mornings. As I think about it now, it would help introduce the strategy! I was just using it as a fun way to help them recognize each other's names. :-)


    1. Crystal, I will have to remember to use slide and cover with our names at the beginning of the year. It would be a great way for them to recognize their names. :)

  2. Kara, I liked the "scooping" concept to help students who are having trouble moving beyond "robotic reading." Also, Strategy 4.6 & 4.8 -- noting ending punctuation, as well as punctuation inside of a sentence -- Serravallo uses such good wording to help students get to the next level! Partner work strategies are also some of my favorites!