Having just one strategy cannot work for reading every word. Ideally a child will have a “tool box” of reading strategies and use one or more when they come across an unfamiliar word. When reading with your child, it is best to allow a five second wait time before giving them a word. Below are just some of the strategies a reader might use to help them read more effectively.
Use Picture Clues: It is ok to use the pictures as clues which might give hints about an unfamiliar word.
Look for familiar chunks and word patterns: some common patterns include –ake, -ock, -ing, -as, -up as well as other prefixes, suffixes, endings, and base words.
Sound-Out the Word: for easy predictable word patterns this strategy will work well when students blend the sounds or chunks and then check to make sure the word fits the sentence.
Skip it: it is ok to read to the end of the sentence to see if they can figure the word out based on how it is used in a sentence.
Use knowledge about the topic of the story: sometimes words are easier to figure out when one considers the context of the story and words that may fit the topic.
Reading is much more than knowing words; it’s also about gaining meaning form the words we read. Be supportive of your readers and encourage them to practice, practice, practice to fully enjoy all the benefits of reading!!!
For more ideas on how to support readers check out my “How can I support my reader at home?” tab under resources on this website