When a child makes reading errors frequently, perhaps the text is not at his level. Once you have a leveled text, make sure you:
- Let your student make the error. Do not give the student any hints. For example, I’ve seen educators holler, “There’s an e!” before the child reads a silent e word like “cake.” This hint does not allow the child to analyze the word on his own. It hinders his growth and makes him dependent on a more advanced reader. Allow the child to make mistakes. Do not offer hints. Mistakes render growth.
- Provide Immediate feedback. After the child makes a mistake, then it’s time to offer your guidance. Do not wait to correct the child at the end of the sentence or page. Instead, correct the error right away.
- Limit teacher talk. I witness educators give longwinded explanations. This should NOT happen in phonics lessons. In phonics lessons, kids need to do most of the talking/make most of the sounds. As a teacher, your verbiage should be short, terse and to the point. Think of using simple words/phrases like, “Read the sound.” That’s it!
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Correct your students’ errors using the following steps:
- Underline the sound he read incorrectly.
- Point to the miscued unit on his phonics chart. Ask him to say the miscued sound while looking at the unit.
- Ask him to say the sound again, but this time, while looking at the word in the text.
- Bring him back to the beginning of the word he misread. Ask him to read the word from the beginning.
Keep reading this post for a more thorough breakdown of the above steps.
Step One: Underline the sound your student read incorrectly.
For example, if he reads “chirp” for “cheap,” underline the ea sound in cheap.
If he read “sail” for “snail,” underline the sn in snail.
If he read “met” for “mat” underline the a_ in mat.
The underline will draw attention to the miscue and help him see that spelling unit as distinct. He needs to decode, not guess. The underlined spelling unit will help him decode sound-by-sound. He needs to use the phonetic code.
Step Two: Point to the miscued sound on his phonics chart. Ask him to say the sound while looking at the spelling unit.
Point to the miscued sound on his phonics chart.
For example, if he read “chirp” for “cheap,” bring him to the long e column on his phonics chart. The long e sounds should be organized as follows:
Point to the “ea” unit in the column. Have him look at the spelling unit “ea” while saying the long e sound.
Step Three: Ask him to say the sound again, but this time, while looking at the word in the text.
Bring your student back to the word in the text. For example, if he read “chirp” for “cheap,” bring him back to the underlined ea in cheap.
Point to the ea in cheap.
Have him repeat the long e sound while looking at the ea in cheap.
Step Four: Bring him back to the beginning of the word he misread. Ask him to read the word from the beginning.
Bring your student back to the start of the miscued word. For example, if he read “chirp” for “cheap,” bring him back to the beginning of “cheap.” Ask him to read the word from the beginning.
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To learn more about reading errors, learn how to Target the Problem.
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