Two Tips for Tuesday – Struggling Readers and the Squeaky Duck Returns!!!

Hi Teacher Friends!  Time for another installment of Two Tips For Tuesday – Struggling Readers!

Today we’re talking about a very common, and very frustrating, issue that many students have while reading.  What’s that you ask?  Why…that would be the dreaded “teacher I’m seeing the word a but reading the word the!”  Or “teacher I’m seeing the word bubble but reading the word blanket.”  Oh yes… these are the kiddles that make silly errors because they just don’t pay attention to the WHOLE word, or because they just say what pops into their sweet little brains!  “Ugh,” says this teacher.  Here’s a great example.  While doing a running record today on a third grader, this little sweetie pie made 16 errors in a 94 word text.  10 of the errors were the same mistake over and over…..saying a for the….and 6 errors were words that began with the same initial sound, but nowhere even looked like the word she said.  Sigh.  This happens more than we would like and drives this teacher batty, and of course really messes up comprehension!

*Tip 1:
So you know what that means? Yep, that’s right!  It is time for me to get out the ol’ squeaky duck yet once again!  (Seriously….I have more uses for these squeaky ducks than there are fish in the ocean!)  This little trick works like a charm and brings on fits of giggles at the same time!  Nothing better than laughing and learning that’s for sure!  And nothing like a squeaky duck to get something to stick in the kiddle’s brains!

Here’s what you do…..Get your squeaky duck in hand (or frog, or pig or… get the idea).  Tell the kiddle that everytime he or she makes a mistake and doesn’t fix it, you are going to squeak that duck!  Ready, Set, Go!  You will find that when you squeak that duck, the kiddle will jump with surprise (because remember they aren’t paying attention and are shocked that you squeaked!) and the whole group will giggle away.  Of course EVERYONE wants a turn then, because it is so much fun! But silly as it is, it really, really, really gets them to pay attention to their reading.  If you do this for a few days, they should be paying much better attention to their reading.  If they have a relapse…that silly squeaky duck only needs to come back out and sit on the table in front of you, and they pay attention again.  After awhile, they develop a better habit of paying attention to the wHoLE word! Ahhhhhh!  Makes this teacher happy!!!!

*Tip 2:
Here’s another tip for helping to get the sweetums to pay attention to their reading.  Partner up your kiddos…..below you can see two of the kiddles in one of my second grade groups.

Have them take turns reading the book to each other.  The partner who is “the counter,” follows along in his copy of the book, but puts up one finger each time the other student makes a mistake!  This motivates both kiddles to pay attention, the reader because he wants to have the lowest score of making mistakes, and the partner because he wants to make sure he doesn’t miss counting any mistakes!  Then they switch!  The kiddle with the least mistakes, wins the round.  They LOVE this “game” and oh-my-giddy-great-grandmother this teacher is happy, happy, happy because they are having fun, paying attention, AND rereading several times! Yay!
So there ya go!  Hope these tips have your  sweetie pies paying more attention to their reading!  Happy Teaching everyone!

1 Comment

  1. Kelly McFarland
    November 5, 2014 / 1:33 pm

    I just love the squeaky duck idea! And I can totally see the kiddos giggling away and having fun while learning too. Awesome!

    Lattes and Lunchrooms

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