This page offers support and advice to parents on children’s literacy development.

What are Reading Strategies?

In Scoil Chaitríona Senior the children will be using Reading Strategies. These are what good readers use to work out new words and understand what they are reading. Parents can remind children of these strategies when reading at home.

(This link will bring you to a pdf  version of the strategies listed below ReadingStrategies)

  • Adjusting Reading Rate

This text is difficult or new to me. I will slow down my rate of reading so I can understand it better.

This text is easy or familiar to me. I can read this part quickly.

  •  Comparing

When I am comparing I can look and see what is different.

  • This text is similar/ different to another text I read because —-
  • The characters —- and —- are alike because —- but different because —-
  • This text is —- than the last text I read by this author.
  • Consulting a Reference

I will use a dictionary to look up the meaning of this word.

I can use an encyclopaedia or website to find out more about this topic.

  •  Creating Images

Making a picture in my head as I read can help me understand a text better.

  • I think this looks like —-
  • When I read this I see in my mind —-
  • When I read this I hear in my mind —-
  • When I read this I see —- and it makes me feel —-
  • When I read the first paragraph I had an image of —- but this has changed after reading the next paragraph and now I see —-
  •  Determining Importance

I can understand the main ideas of the text and what the author’s message is.

  • I think this part is very important because —-
  • I will underline the word —- because it is a key word.
  • The main point of that paragraph is —-
  • I think this is the climax of the story because —-
  •  Inferring

Sometimes as I read I need to make inferences. When the author doesn’t answer my questions, I must infer.

  • Reading between the lines I think that —- because —-
  • I think this means —- because —-
  • I think she was trying to say —- because —-
  • I think this character will —- because it says in the text —-
  • I think this story was set long ago because —-
  •  Making Connections

Sometimes when I read I can make a connection to something I already know.

  • This text reminds me of a time when I —-
  • This text reminds me of another story in which —-
  • This text reminds me of a story I read in the newspaper or heard on TV whereby
  •  Monitoring Comprehension

I know how to use different ways to help me when I get stuck on what the meaning of a text is. When I get stuck on a word or when I get confused I can:

  • Use what I know to think about the word
  • Reread
  • Read on
  • Use my questions and connections
  •  Prediction

Thinking about what might happen in the story and looking at the clues in the text and pictures will help me understand what it is about.

  • From what I already know about —— I think this will be about —–
  • Looking at the pictures I predict —–
  • Knowing this author, I think this piece will be ——
  • In five years’ time I think this character will be ——
  • From the title I think that ——–
  • After reading chapter one I know that —–
  •  Reading on and Rereading

This word/text is difficult or new for me. I will read on to the end of the sentence/paragraph to see if I can work it out.

This sentence/section does not make sense to me. I will reread it to see if I can understand it better.

  •  Scanning

Scanning helps me find information in a text, such as contents, illustrations and index.

  • Scanning this index/contents page I see which page/chapter I need to read in order to find out about — is —.
  • Scanning this piece, I think —- will be a main character because I see his name repeated a number of times.
  •  Self-Questioning

Asking questions helps me understand a text. Remember to ask questions before, during and after you read.

  • I wonder why —-?
  • I wonder does the author mean —-?
  • I wonder where —-?
  • How could that be?
  • What sis that mean?
  • After reading those paragraphs, were there any parts I didn’t understand and need to re-read?
  •  Skimming

If I quickly flick through the text I can get an overall idea of what the text is about.

  • I think this report will be useful for my project because —-
  • Glancing through the pictures —– I think this story will be about —-
  • I need to read this bit —– because I think this is the part where I will find out about …..
  •  Summarising and Paraphrasing

When I summarise I can think about what I have read and then focus on the important elements.

  • The main idea of this piece was —-
  • In my own words this story was about —-
  • The author says —-. In my own words this means —-.
  • Synthesising

When I use all my strategies to combine what I know with new information to understand the text I am synthesising.

  • Now I get it!
  • This makes me think of……
  • I learned that …….
  • I understand this because …….
  • Using all the strategies I know, I think this is about….
  • So this bit helps me understand ……..

Parents often ask for advice on how to help their children with reading. Here are some tips about using and choosing books for children. It is important that parents realise how important they are to developing a child’s reading.

Parents and young children reading together

  1. Setting aside time to read aloud to children helps them to learn that reading is a pleasant experience, that reading is something that you care about, and that reading opens up a whole new world of fun and adventure.
  2. Join the library and go regularly with your child. Everyone can have access to good books. Encourage your child to choose books. Ask the librarian for help.
  3. Praise your child’s interest in books and reading. To become a reader your child needs to read and be read to at home – it doesn’t just come from schoolwork.
  4. Discuss the pictures and the story with your child. Put your finger under the words as you read to give the child the idea of linking words with sounds.
  5. Young children love to hear the same stories over and over. When they become familiar, encourage your child to say any of the lines s/he remembers at the right time. Praise their early‘reading’ even when it is from memory, because this is an important first step.

Children who can read independently

  1. Keep on reading aloud to your child – continue as long as you both enjoy it. Children love the cosy feeling of their parent reading to them, and it keeps them interested in books.
  2. Try to find books on their interests – librarians can help here. Ask in bookshops for particular topics.
  3. Try starting a new book together to help the child get ‘into’ it, and then see if it takes off for them.
  4. Try to encourage a varied reading diet – comics are fine as long as they are not the only texts read. Don’t forget how much some children like fact books and list books. Libraries have good selections of these. Also look out for remainder bargains and second hand books stalls
  5. Encourage your young reader to read to you or to a younger child and praise them. Talk to them about what they are reading, and respect their opinions. Tell them about books you enjoyed as a child. Make reading something to be proud of.
  6. Use books and comics as rewards instead of sweets.
  7. Show them that you enjoy reading also – the paper, magazines and books.
  8. Parents can also children to read simple Irish books sometimes and praise and encourage them.