If you’re like me you use those adorable reading decoding strategies in your class. During our small group guided reading time I would show the students a strategy poster and we would talk about it. I would also point out how a strategy can help us read a word. That all seemed fine enough, but I felt like there was something missing. My students were not taking ownership of the strategies. I didn’t feel like the strategies were something they were thinking about and using like tools from a tool box.
So I started thinking about how I could make these decoding strategy animals more meaningful and not just cute posters on a board. Of course, all kids love adventures so I thought what better an adventure than a safari! I decided to turn our decoding reading strategies into a “Reading Strategies Safari“.
However, I did not want just another cute board of posters that were there to just look pretty. I am a true believer that bulletin boards in the classroom should be used as a teaching tool and not just a place to stick random posters that the students rarely think about. I decided to take a recording sheet straight to the board. Each strategy has a corresponding recording sheet that students use to write a word the strategy helped them read.
Here’s what that looks like: During our Guided reading time we do a quick review of each strategy. I may choose one to focus on, depending on my guided reading lesson for that day. Next the students will read their books as I listen and/or take running records. After students have read the book. I ask them to find a word that was a little tricky for them and think about the strategy they used to figure it out. The first time we did this I was a little apprehensive that they would make the connection, but of course they surprised me and knew right away what strategy they used to figure out the word. Each student then gets a chance to write the word on the Strategy Recording Sheet. I tell them they can not write too big because everyone else in the class will need space to add their words. They now look forward to adding their own word to our “Reading Strategies Safari” wall.
We also have bookmarks and cue cards on popsicle sticks as an additional prompt for each strategy.
To get the complete set and everything you need for a “Reading Strategies Safari” click here or the pic below. If you decide to purchase the “Reading Strategies Safari” in your class, I would love to hear about how you use it! Tag me on Social Media or leave a comment below. Thanks for stopping by.