Literacy Strategies

Alpha Box
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(A tool for organizing important ideas)

1.   Curriculum words for content area
2.   Author study
3.   Important words from read alouds
4.   Research words
5.   Vivid verbs, specific nouns, powerful adjectives
6.   Theme study words, etc.


Key Words
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1.  Read a section/paragraph
2.  Stop
3.  Think
4.  Identify key word/phrase from section read
5.  Write down key word/phrase  
6.  Use key words to summarize entire passage


Fix-Up Strategies

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1.  Look at the picture. SchoolCenter Picture

2.  Go back & read the sentence again. SchoolCenter Picture

3.  Does it make sense? SchoolCenter Picture

4.  Use the first & last letters of the word.  

            SchoolCenter Picture c _ _ _ _ _ _ r  

5.  CHUNK IT!  Look for parts of the word you know.

                 SchoolCenter Picture   home room

6.  Skip it & go on.  SchoolCenter Picture 

7.  Does it sound right?  SchoolCenter Picture

  Two Word Strategy
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Jot down two words that reflect your thinking about a story.
The words could be in the book or out of the book. (inferencing)


Walk around the room with an alpha box.  Ask other students what their two words are.  Add them to your alpha box.  Whole class or small groups use alpha box to retell the story by touching the words.  Children discuss why they chose a certain word.  The children could also sort the words.  Children can use the words to complete a 10 minute Power Write about the story.  

***The goal is not to get all boxes filled in.


  Coding Strategies
 SchoolCenter Picture       Students will stop at each sentence or each paragraph and indicate their reactions to their reading as follows:

    *  I already knew this!

    New information

    !   Wow

    ?  I don't understand

Students can write these on the paper or use sticky notes.


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      Tear off pieces of sticky notes to mark the VIPs

        Very Important Points

2.   Take turns sharing your VIPs with your partner
      tell WHY you chose the VIP


I Remember
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1.   Read

2.   Stop

3.   Think

4.   Tell your partner/group what you remember


Weave a Web
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1.  Gather in a circle.

2.  First student holds the ball of yarn and tells one thing they remember.  Then they hold   one end of the yarn or string and tosses the ball across (not around) the circle.

3.  The cycle continues until each student has had a turn to share one thing they remember.  When finished the yarn will look like a "web".


Sketch to Stretch
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1.  Teacher reads
2.  Teacher stops
3.  Students sketch quickly
4.  Teacher reads 2nd time while students sketch  
5.  Students share sketches


Venn Diagram
Students will compare how 2 things are alike and how they are different. 
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                                           Different                 Alike

Information Equation
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Information equation is like a fill in the blank.  An example would be, "Turn to your neighbor and fill in the blank."  This strategy is all about making connections and integrating.


popcorn kernels + heat =

hot weather + exercise =

water + sun =

a smile + teacher =

Power Write
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A "Power Write" is a short burst of writing in any subject area with a minimum of five minutes of writing in each time segment.  It can be a list, notes, summaries, response to literature, a poem, instructions (how to), persuasive articles, etc.


    Write a letter to your partner about ________.

Interactive Journaling
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 This can be completed on a half or a whole sheet of paper.  The sheet needs two -five sections.

This can be used at the beginning of a subject or unit to see what the children know about a topic.  This can be used at the end of a lesson or unit  as a review of the subject taught.  

The children are given a topic and asked to write for a certain time frame to see what they understand.  Then at the end of the time given, the child passes the paper to the right or left.  The next child reads the information and adds information to the journal.  The process is repeated until the teacher instructs to give back to original owner.


Say Something
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1.   Choose a partner

2.   Agree to:
-read chorally (or)
  -trade off by paragraphs  (or)
-read silentlyAND have a stopping point

3.   Read

4.   Partner will then ask you:
      WHY did you say that?

5.   Return to---
      Step #2


Test Style Questions
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Children can become test makers and show what they know by creating their very own test.

The children start with a test question that they write at the top of their paper.  Then they come up with 3 or 4 multiple choice answers for the test.  One answer is the correct answer.  The other 1 or 2 answers are close and tricky.  One answer is the distractor, which is a "La, La, Land" answer. 

The test questions are created from each cognitive skill area.

Read, Cover, Remember, Retell
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1.  Read
2.  Cover text read with hand
3.  Think/remember
4.  Share with partner/group what you read


Literacy Equation
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Literacy equation is like a fill in the blank, except it is dealing with fiction.  An example would  be "Turn to your neighbor and fill in the blank."  This strategy is all about making connections and integrating.


Cinderella + a mean stepmother =

a spider + a water spout =

Jack + beanstalk =


Cloze Procedure
 SchoolCenter Picture Cloze procedure is teaching at the word level.  This is a strategy used in reading when a child gets stuck.  An anchor chart could be used to list these reading strategies.  The focus is about teaching reading or meaning.

Reading Strategies
1.  Look at the picture.
2.  Go back and read the sentence.
3.  Does it make sense?
4.  Use the first and last letters.
5.  Chunk it!  Look for parts of the word you know.
6.  Skip it and read on.
7.  Does it sound right?

Examples of Teaching at the Word Level:
Look at the beginning/end.
Take your eyes through the word.
Look at parts of the word.
Try the word you think it might be.
Read the sentence and decide by meaning.