image of a child reading a paper

Teaching Reading Strategies

The following is a guide to use sentence prompts to enhance reading comprehension while reading. We know that good readers are interacting with text while they are reading it.  Some of the ways they interact with text are making connections, questioning, inferring, and determining importance.  This metacognitive process is often difficult for our students to capture, in order to scaffold their ability to express their thinking about the text I created sentence prompts (see attachments at the end of post).   Here are some of the ways you could use them:

1.       Guided Reading Groups

  • Assess the students’ strength in using the reading strategies.  Use the following questions to gauge their understanding of the reading strategies.  All of the prompts should begin with ¨Mientras que estabas leyendo...¨ There are a couple of ways that you can use this one is a worksheet for the students to complete on their own while they read.  In the second handout, there are prompts for you to use while you interview the student.
  • Determine whether you want to work on one reading strategy or many.  I generally use one that students can use well and another that they need to work on.
  • Then in the group, I will explain that the student is to place the card in the text while they read when they come to the group they are to share their thoughts with the group. 
  • Model using some prompts with a familiar text. After you share a thought, allow the students to ask questions or comment.
  • Give each student a set of comprehension strategy prompt cards.  Practice using the prompts with a familiar text or picture book.  (I think that Qué montón de tamales lend to being able to use all of the different strategies well.)
  • Assign the students reading and the cards you would like them to use while reading.


2.       Cooperative Groups (4 students)

Assign the students to complete the assessment individually, while reading an assigned text.

Determine whether you want to work on one reading strategy or many.  I generally use one that students can use well and another that they need to work on.

Model ¨Fish Bowl¨style (you are a student in a cooperative group in the center and the rest of the class sits around your cooperative group). Share with  

3. Exit Ticket Assessment of Students Reading Strategies

This is great to use the last 10 minutes of class after students have been reading.  Students are to give it to you at the door in order to exit.  You can use them to assess their understanding of the text and whether or not they are thinking about the text while they read. Place the handout on the overhead or copy it for each student, ask the students to pick one of the sentence starters and write the entire sentence on the exit ticket. Their thought should logically complete the sentence, be relevant to the specific text, and demonstrate an understanding of the story.

Assess and Give students feedback

I over think feedback way too much so in order to ensure that I give feedback I use a simple reading strategies rubric.  I share it with the students upon introducing one of the activities suggested above. It includes:
  • Organization: Sentence Prompt, Student´s Name, Strategy
  • Development: Thought logically completes the prompt
  • Connection: Relevant to specific text
  • Content: Thought demonstrates understanding of the story
I would use a scale that is consistent with your classroom.  For example: if you use letter grades ABCDF, then use them for each section of the rubric to indicate what they do well.  A is exceeds to F does not address the topic. An organizational suggestion for this is to print out the rubric on address labels.  This will not take up much space on the notebook or sheet of paper the students write their thoughts on.

Organizational Suggestions for the Cards

Print them on cardstock. If they fall out of the books, have the students use paper clips and clip them to the page where they used the reading strategy. If the students don´t remember what their thought was when they come to the group, have them pair the card with a sticky note and finish their statement on the sticky note. 

Resources Mentioned in the Post

If you would like to word versions please email: 


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