Helping Your Child Decode Unknown Words At Home
When children have a variety of decoding strategies to pull from, they gain more confidence in their reading. Here are some decoding strategies and helpful rules to suggest to your child when they are struggling to read a word(s). Thank you for your continued support at home!
Definition or Example
Sound It Out
Sound out each letter, blend (i.e. bl, cr), and/or digraph (i.e. ch, th, wh, sh) and then blend the sounds together
Tap It Out
Example: tap out cat: Say the sound of c (tap pointer to thumb), a (tap middle to thumb), t (tap ring finger to thumb), then blend the sounds to read and say cat (slide thumb under all three fingers)
If you come across a word you don't know, skip it and continue reading the sentence. Sometimes the information that follows can help you identify the unfamiliar word(s). Then go back and reread.
If you come across a word you don't know and the word you read in its place does not sound right, go back and read the sentence again. You may notice clues you missed the first time.
Use the Beginning and Ending Sounds
What would make sense and have that beginning or ending sound?
Look at the pictures for clues to see if the words match.
Chunk the Word
Look for little words or chunks (i.e. ank, ing). Think about what would make sense and has these parts.
Flip the Sounds
All vowels and some consonants (i.e. c, g, th, ch) have more than one sound. If one sound is not working, try the other sound.
CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant): The vowel in the middle will always make the short vowel sound. (i.e. bat, sip, cup, set, top)
CVCe words (consonant, vowel, consonant, silent e): The e reaches over and pinches the vowel in the middle and makes it yell its name; making the long vowel sound. The e is silent. (i.e. sale, ride)
When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and says its name. (i.e. week, paint)
*This does not always work, but is a good place to start*