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Word Decoding Strategies

I am truly convinced that the key to reading success is a reader's ability to jump over reading hurdles. So much time is taken to teach the rudiments of reading yet so little time is spent on modeling the reading act and showing how to handle the reading obstacle course. Just imagine what goes on in the mind of an emergent reader. He starts the process very confidently (some actually do) then up comes  a stumbling block- a new and unfamiliar word!

 "So what do I do now?"
 "How can I get this one right?"
 "Will I ever reach the end?"
 "And I thought I was good at this!"

Word Decoding Strategies are just that! They are the things that readers do so that meaning is not lost and new words are demystified. They are the little things we can do to ensure that the reading process continues.  The following are key strategies that you can teach students to get them to become independent thinkers and proficient, lifelong readers.

Word Decoding Strategies

1. Use Picture Clues- Look at the picture to find clues that will help you figure out the word.
2. Use your lips- Get your lips ready to say the first few sounds.
3. Stretch the word- Pronounce each sound letter by letter then put them back together at a faster pace.
4.  Flip the vowel sound- Try a short vowel instead of a long vowel sound or a long sound instead of a short sound.
5.  Chunk it- Look for chunks of words that may be familiar to you.

6. Skip it- Skip over the word, reach to the end of the sentence then go back to it. Try reading it again!

7. Try another word- Maybe by doing this you can probably stumble across the real meaning!

8. HELP!!!- If you've tried some or all of those at the top then it's time to ask for help. You can ask your friend, classmate, parents or teacher for help.

You can get these strategies all in one set at my TPT store. Click the picture for details.

Mygrafico Digital Arts & Crafts


  1. Thanks for a great post! I shared it on my Facebook page!
    Heidi Butkus

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing! Much appreciated! :)


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