Questions to Help a Beginning Reader Fix Mistakes While Reading

Let's say a reader makes a mistake with this sentence.
We went for a walk in the rain.
The reader reads ran instead of rain.

Teach a reader to stop if something doesn't make sense. You could ask if it makes sense to go for a walk in the ran. Is a ran something you could walk in? Let's look closer at the word you read as ran.

Teach a reader to stop if something doesn't sound right. Would someone say they went for a walk in the ran? No, this isn't how a person talks. It didn't sound right. Always stop if what you read doesn't sound right. Then you can look more closely at the words and try to fix it.

Teach a reader to make sure a word looks right. Point to the word ran. Ask the reader if ran has a "r" sound at the beginning and a "n" sound at the end. You got that part right. Let's look at the middle sound now.  Do you think ai makes the "a" sound like in ran? Right, ai makes a long a sound. Try reading the sentence again.



Dr. Madeline Boskey said...

This is great advice. If we gently point out errors, and help children understand them we go a long way to aiding their thoughtful reading.

Carolee Sperry said...

Great advice!

I loved helping my kids learn letters, then small words...and then, viola, one day they got it!

Now I have a grandson to do it all over with!

Found you on Momlogics Blogging mama's group.

I'm your newest follower.

Michelle said...

Thanks for your comment, Madeline. I'm so happy you're following me, Carolee. I'll work hard to give some good advice and resources for you and your grandchildren.

It is important to gently point out errors. Soon a reader will ask the same questions while reading independently and know how to fix mistakes. I'd like to add another bit of advice.

After teaching a reader to ask these questions and fix mistakes, it's important to give a reader a little time to catch an error for himself or herself. Usually a reader who has been trained to question while reading will pause or look confused after an error. Your comment might be: "Do you want to read that part again?" Maybe a reader will go back and fix a mistake after reading a few words in the next sentence. It will be more rewarding for a reader to find and fix an error without too much help. Clap your hands and show a reader how very exciting independent correcting is to you.

Nancy Teaches said...

Hi Michelle,
Great tips! I love making students aware of their thinking. I taught my third graders the term "Metacognition," which they love telling everyone means "thinking about thinking. Your tips set the foundation for the work that comes later.