Decoding Independence QUICK TIP

Looking for a quick tip to help your readers become independent decoders?
Teach them to use a personal white board as they read!

If your readers keep a small personal white board at their side while reading, they can jot down any word they're struggling with.  Teach them to "operate on" the word.  Many long words can be demystified simply by looking at them to see what readers already know.

Write It Out

For example, if a reader is stuck on the word "impressive," writing it out shows us this:

The middle of the word has a smaller word we can recognize - "press." The beginning of the word has a word part we know - "im."  The end of the word has a word part we know - "ive."

Instead of ten letters to sound out, the reader now just needs to sequence three parts - im, press, ive. Voila!

Support Tips

I make sure my readers know all the parts they'll need to recognize (like "im" and "ive") in order for them to identify the parts when they see them in words.

I teach these parts as I would sight words.  I use the same methods and strategies as I would to teach sight words - games, activities, flashcards, printables.

To teach the "sight parts", you can make up flashcards, bingo games, or tic tac toe and more!  If you'd like premade activities, flashcards, games and printables, plus student progress trackers and other assessments created to save you time, you can find them  HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE. Multisyllabic Words WORD PARTS FLASHCARDS RAINBOWDecoding Multisyllabic Words BINGO Word Parts Study

DIY White Boards

If you don't have personal white boards for each of your readers - laminate pages, half pages or bookmark-sized strips! Or place white paper in page protectors and use dry erase markers. HERE is a FREE set of student mats you can laminate for your readers.

Your readers will LOVE the feeling of independence they get from decoding their own words as they read!

But wait! There's more!

Check out these additional tips for upper elementary! Click on the advice and grab free reflection tools, checklists, questionnaires, and more!

Kerry Tracy of Feel-Good Teaching says, "Take the time to reconnect with your calling to get you through the rough patches!"

Kathie Yonemura of Tried & True Teaching Tools says, “Find your teacher tribe!”

Back to Top