Friday, December 12, 2014
Hey everyone!  It's Alison from Ms. Lilypad's Primary Pond.  If you are as busy as I am with getting ready for the holidays, you probably don't have a ton of time to read this post.  :)  So I'll keep it quick!

About a month ago, I created a visual reading strategies menu to use with my intervention groups.  I teach in Spanish, so the photo below shows that version, but I also made one in English:

When I made this menu, I didn't realize just how much I would love using it!  I already had a set of reading strategies posters that I keep on my whiteboard, but it's so much more powerful when the kids have multiple strategies right in front of them (like on this menu).

After I made the menu, I began by teaching the kids what each part of the menu meant.  They were already familiar with how to use most of the strategies, so it was just a matter of making sure they understood the different boxes on the menu.  I didn't teach the entire menu in one day - I taught it over the course of a few days.

Now I use the menu all the time when my kids are reading.  Since I teach intervention groups, many of my kids have a very difficult time with reading and are a year or more behind grade level.  Processing the text is enough of a challenge, so if I talk a lot or use lots of verbal prompting, this can be distracting for them (they lose track of the text).  Now what I can do is simply point to a strategy on the menu, and a student can try out the strategy without me having to say a word!  Plus, since I have small groups of kids, the menu helps me multitask.  When I'm listening to one child read but notice that another student is stuck, I can simply point to a strategy on the other child's menu, and that child can continue working without me having to stop what I am doing.

You can download the English or Spanish menu below (for free) by clicking on one of the images!  If you think that this will overwhelm your students, you can always use another sheet of paper to cover up part of the menu.  I can see these menus being used with Kindergarteners (late in the year), 1st grade, and 2nd grade.  I hope you enjoy using them as much as I do!

Happy holidays!!


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