How to Teach Reading Strategies

I LOVE teaching reading! I teach through a Reader's Workshop, using the CAFE model (The Two Sisters) as a way to organize and balance instruction. I've found that my students experience the most success when I explicitly teach strategies through mini-lessons and then allow students to practice them during independent (read-to-self) and buddy reading (read-to-someone) times. Over the past three years, I have personalized several reading strategies and created Reading Strategy Cards with crisp, clean fonts and fabulous clip art!

Since the start of school, I have introduced different strategies for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary, but for this post, I will focus on the comprehension strategies we have concentrated on so far: activating schema and making connections.

My collection of cards offers various options/spellings to choose form, depending on the language you like, or are required, to use with your students. I like to use the first card shown above because I teach schema and connections hand-in-hand.

Here are my "teacher talk" notes on schema and making connections; it's part of my Reading Strategy Cards pack. As you can see, all of the strategies are aligned to CCSS.

I also LOVE to use the Strategy Songs from One Extra Degree! My kids are crazy about them and it really helps them to grasp these abstract metacognitive strategies.

I use my file folder anchor chart (poster board cut into the shape of a file folder) and post sticky notes onto it listing schema that may lead to connections.

Here are some of the books I like to use with first graders to foster making connections; they are all classroom classics that you probably have in your own collection that focus on age-appropriate topics, like having a new baby in the family, or bullying/friendship issues.

By choosing the right books, we can set students up for success. For example, reading books by the same author or with similar characters allows you to model connections and helps students make their own.

If you would like to see more of my Reading Strategy Cards and all of the options it includes, click on the picture below to visit my TpT shop and read the detailed product description and preview.

Here's what one teacher had to say about them:

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