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Reading Strategies
You may not have thought about what goes into learning how to read. The truth is that we use many different strategies when we read. You may not realize that you are using strategies because it has become second nature to you, and it feels natural. When learning to read, it is very important to cover all of the different reading strategies
Thinking & context clues
   - (Illustrations and what's happening) Pictures are context clues for beginning readers. Using the brain to figure out what makes sense when reading is probably the most important concept a beginning reader can learn. Gradually, words and pictures form context until eventually a reader can form a picture in their mind or words alone are enough. This strategy also allows readers to draw meaning from the text which is the real purpose of reading.
Sight Words
 - (Memory) A sight word is a common language word that would be difficult to learn by "sounding out" and should be remembered by memory (the, is, be, then, etc). Sight words are important for beginning readers for 2 reasons. First of all knowing the most common words by sight helps a reader become more fluent. This makes it easier to use thinking skills to figure out the context. Secondly, our language is not completely phonetic. Some words can't be "sounded out" easily. There are so many exceptions to phonetic rules.
Knowledge of letter sounds
 - (A lot of this is learned along the way and usually taught in preschool through 1st grade) Knowing basic letter sounds is so important to a beginning reader. Learning sounds and language patterns is helpful to progress as a reader. Learning beginning blends, word endings like in word families (cat and rat, made and grade etc).   Vowel combinations (oa, ai, etc.), prefixes (re-), suffixes (-ing, -ed), and root words are other important areas. All of these items give children additional information to use in their reading process. The more knowledge of language a person has the more capable they become at cracking the code. Keep in mind that children should not get bogged down sounding out every word. Sight word and thinking skill strategies should be used as well. Using all of the strategies from the beginning will make more fluent readers.
 - (Repetition) Rereading books gives beginners practice and confidence. It also helps reinforce vocabulary and will build memory. When a reader can see the same words over and over again in a book they know and enjoy they can more easily identify those words in other places.
Playing with language
 - (Games) Playing with language makes reading and writing fun. While a child is having fun they are also building thinking skills and unknowingly learning alot about language. The brain will keep this information for refrence much like a computer. Playing a memory game with sight words or even a flash card game can make learning fun for a child. Giving a child another way to learn sight vocabulary besides just books can help keep them interested in wanting to read.

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