Outdoor Activities to Boost Math Skills

by Ron Mohl | Lakeshore Lead Educational Presenter

For kids, outdoor play is a nonstop adventure! As they frolic in the fresh air, their senses are heightened and their attention is sharp—they open up to new experiences. That’s why engaging outdoor moments provide a golden opportunity for helping kids build a stronger relationship with math. Here are some skill-building math activities kids can enjoy while having fun outside.

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Let’s Predict!

Kids make an immediate and personal connection to learning when they guess what might happen during an upcoming activity. Guessing also helps kids become persistent explorers and problem solvers. Before kids head outside, have them make predictions they can test as they play. Try out these questions to get started:

How many animals/bugs will you see?
Kids can use binoculars to find birds and magnifiers to search for bugs in the grass or garden.

How many bubbles can you make?
Using the Lakeshore Big Bubbles Kit, encourage children to estimate the number of bubbles they can make each time they blow through or wave a bubble wand. Ask kids if they think they can make more bubbles on the next try by changing their technique. You can even have them predict the size of the biggest bubble they can blow.

How long will it take to dry?
Spray water on concrete, a sidewalk or a wall. Set a sand timer and have kids guess if the wet area will dry before or after time runs out. Try a variety of time increments to mix things up!

Measure It!

Kids get plenty of practice using rulers and other standard measuring tools in school. They can practice nonstandard measurement while having fun outside!

What’s the measurement?
This activity works with any nonstandard measuring tool. I personally love starting with feet—the kind with toes! Have children use the length of their feet to measure something outside by counting the number of toe-to-toe steps it takes to go along a fence, around a tree or around other landmarks outside. They can also measure using household items, like a ladle or paper towel roll.

How many claps from here to there?
Have kids count handclaps to measure how long it takes to run, skip, leap or gallop from one point to another. Ask them what they reach faster—the swing set or the basketball court. (Remind them that fewer claps indicate a faster journey!) Tip: Set the pace of the clapping to help children stay consistent.

Game-Hoop Sorting

Finding and gathering items in nature is the perfect way to introduce classification and sequencing. Have kids start by gathering items like leaves, rocks and pinecones. Then extend their play with these math ideas:

How would you classify these items?
Lay a game hoop on concrete pavement. Then use chalk to divide the inside area into “pizza slices.” Have kids use each “slice” to sort nature items into different groups by size, color, texture, etc.

How should we arrange these items?
Next, draw a line on the pavement and have kids sort their items from large to small, soft to hard or light to dark. This form of organizing helps kids work on their ability to put items in order.

 Get Moving with Math!

It’s easy to enrich gross motor activities, like jumping and leaping, with math practice to help kids build balance, muscle and math skills at the same time. Here are some ways to get kids moving:

What’s your next move?
Create an obstacle course! Put up signs to prompt kids to repeat a physical pattern (touch your toes, hop, crawl, touch your toes, hop, crawl, and so on) as they move between two different points outside. Test children’s recall by using a game hoop or other marker to replace one of the movement prompts to see if they can remember the missing move.

How do you do that move?
Break down any move—like a jump, hop or leap—into its separate sequential moves while modeling ordinal counting with children. For example:

Jumping
1. Bend your knees.
2. Blast off with both feet to go up.
3. Land on both feet.

Leaping
1. Stand on one foot.
2. Thrust forward, leading with the foot in the air.
3. Land on the foot that was in the air.

How long is our train?
Have children create human trains by lining up together based on characteristics you call out. You might say, “Line up if you’re wearing blue…if you’re a girl…or if you have buttons on your clothes!” Then have kids count off how many of them are in the train.

As the weather warms up, try any—or all—of these activities! Children will never look at math practice the same way again. Have fun!

References:
1. Angela Oswalt, “Cognitive Development: Piaget Part III,” MentalHelp.Net, last modified June 9, 2010, https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/cognitive-development-piaget-part-iii/.

Learning Through Sensory Play

by Patti Jo Wilson | Lakeshore Professional Development Specialist

Sensory play isn’t just about touch. It’s about engaging all the senses children use to learn about the world. In fact, the more senses children use during an activity, the more learning potential it has. Sensory play can even help babies meet developmental milestones!

Follow these tips to infuse any space with opportunities for infants, toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy sensory play at school or at home.

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Sensory play for infants:

  1. Stimulate visual development using secure mobiles babies can swipe, bat and grab.
  2. Play soft, soothing music to nurture babies’ hearing. Be sure to avoid harsh, sharp and loud sounds. You can even purchase CDs made just for little ones, like Singable Songs for the Very Young.
  3. Provide a wide variety of soft sensory toys. For example, our star-shaped beanbags are perfect for sensory play because they incorporate textures and colors little ones love. If you’re caring for nonmobile children, take the toys to them.

Sensory play for toddlers:

  1. Set up stations for sensory play. You can use full-sized units, like our Toddler Sand & Water Table, or simply place a variety of sensory objects in a craft tray filled with dry rice. Try to include items that stimulate as many senses as possible, like Stack & Nest Sensory Toys featuring bright colors, bold patterns and fun-to-touch textures.
  2. Add soap and different types of sponges to your water play area. Toddlers will love playing with the soapy bubbles and squeezing the sponges.
  3. Play a variety of sounds and have children guess what they hear. You can even group sounds into categories to make the guessing easier.
  4. Introduce dough play! There are plenty of store-bought options, like Lakeshore Dough or Theraputty™, and it’s even easy to make your own.

Sensory play for preschoolers:

  1. Set up a secondary sensory table to provide even more opportunities for kids to explore. Stock it with open-ended sensory items that can be left out for long periods of time, like our Nonhardening Modeling Foam or our Tactile Letters.
  2. Turn a nature walk into a tactile scavenger hunt. Ask kids to collect objects that are smooth, rough, heavy, shiny, squishy, etc.
  3. Set out shaving cream to help kids explore touch and smell. Children love squirting shaving cream out of the can and squeezing it between their fingers!
  4. Have children take off their shoes and explore with their feet while walking on sensory mats, like our Silly Shapes Sensory Mats. You can even use the mats for seating!
  5. Let kids paint with their fingers! Change up the texture by adding glitter or picking up some of our Foam Sensory Paint.

Sensory play at home:

  1. Help babies respond to sensory stimulation by massaging them after their baths. Rhythmically massage their arms, legs and torsos using a baby-safe lotion or oil.
  2. Help toddlers collect items that have different textures (like bubble wrap, flannel, aluminum foil, kitchen scrubbers and sandpaper) to put in sensory books they can feel and explore.
  3. Poke holes in the tops of small containers and fill them with items that smell different (bananas, vinegar, vanilla, etc.) so children can explore with their noses.

Find our top picks for sensory play here, and start filling your space with opportunities for exploration today!

References:

  1. “Infant Massage for Babies with Sensory Impairments,” California Deaf-Blind Services, last modified 2011, files.cadbs.org/200001096-b825fb91fa/Infant%20Massage.pdf.
  2. “Why Infant Massage?,” Infant Massage USA®, accessed 2017, http://infantmassageusa.org/parents/parents.php.
  3. Thompson, Stacy D. and Raisor, Jill M., “Meeting the Sensory Needs of Young Children,” NAEYC 2013. Accessed 2017. https://www.naeyc.org/yc/files/yc/file/201305/Meeting_Sensory_Needs_Thompson_0513.pdf.
  4. “Growing In Sync Children,” NAEYC, accessed 2017, http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/article/growing_in_sync_children.
  5. “Why Sensory Play is Important,” The Spruce, last modified September 1, 2016, https://www.thespruce.com/why-sensory-play-is-important-2086510.

Lucky Day Sight-Word Game

by Jennifer Corrado | Lakeshore Marketing

This easy-to-make St. Patrick’s Day game lets kids follow lucky horseshoes to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But there’s an educational twist! Kids need to use sight-word skills to reach the prize.

Note: This craft can also be adapted for use in the classroom—just print out multiple templates and add more supplies!

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You will need:

Directions:

  1. Match each player with a partner.
  2. Give each pair a Lucky Day game board and a set of shamrock sight-word cards. Invite players to get creative and color both items.
  3. Give each player a leprechaun to color, cut out and use as a game marker.
  4. Explain that the object of the game is to follow the path of lucky horseshoes to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
  5. Have players place the shamrock sight-word cards facedown in a deck. Then have them take turns selecting a card and reading the sight-word.
  6. Players advance their leprechaun marker to the next horseshoe when they read words correctly.
  7. The partner whose leprechaun marker reaches the pot of gold first wins!

Variation:
To modify this game and practice newly acquired vocabulary words or more difficult sight-words, simply print out the blank cards and write in your own words. Then make as many copies as needed.

Spark Young Imaginations with Space-Themed Activities

by Toisha Burns | Lakeshore Marketing

A fresh new year calls for new adventures! And to help guide you toward them, Lakeshore offers FREE teacher workshops at our stores nationwide. Our Shoot for the Stars! Workshop is a great place to start. From creating a mission control center to forming letters in “moon sand” and more, you’ll discover fun ways to help kids explore new horizons―even when chilly weather has trapped them indoors. It will be a blast! Here’s a sneak peek…

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Activity 1: Mission Control to Lakeshore

Transform your dramatic play area into NASA headquarters! Share with children pictures from space missions, space shuttles, Mission Control, the moon landing, etc. Once you’ve looked over and discussed what the children saw in the photos, decide what you want to include in your own “Mission Control.” Provide children with art materials in order to create different parts of “NASA” in the dramatic play area. You may want to provide them with some basic pieces they can build upon (e.g., the outline of a space rocket, the area dedicated for Mission Control, pictures of space, etc.).

Extension:
Create a Mission Control panel and headset. For the panel, use a presentation board (the board in the photograph uses only half a board), assorted arts and crafts materials and a variety of reusable materials, such as empty tissue boxes, different bottle and jar tops, etc. For the headset, use craft cups, Pipe Stems, Pom-Poms and a yarn lace.

If you are able to create a space shuttle, discuss what types of things you need to complete your rocket (e.g., a steering wheel, windows, chairs, control buttons, etc.). Line up chairs “within” the shuttle so children can pretend to take off for the moon.

Activity 2: If I Were an Astronaut

Brainstorm as a class what you all might encounter if you were in space. What might it look like? How might it feel? What might you do while in space?

Provide students with a sheet of picture story paper and ask them to write about or draw something they would do or experience if they were an astronaut in space. They can either try writing the words themselves or you can provide them with a writing prompt like, “If I were an astronaut, __________.” Once everyone is done, have each child share what their experience would be.

Invite the class to pretend to be astronauts. What do astronauts wear? Explain that in order for them to breathe outside of the spaceship, they wear a space suit and helmet. The suit and helmet provide them with the oxygen they need to breathe while in space. Share pictures of present-day space helmets and suits.

Extension:
As a class, create your own astronaut helmets. Assist students in taking a large, brown paper bag and cutting a circle or square on the face of the bag. Then provide the class with arts and crafts materials to finish decorating the helmet. Encourage students to add “dials,” NASA markings, “tubes,” etc. Have children bring their helmets to the dramatic play area.

Activity 3: To the Moon and Back

This next activity creates a hands-on, sensory experience that encourages letter recognition and helps develop early writing skills.

Create “moon dust” by taking regular sand and mixing in a little black liquid watercolor or black food coloring. Once it dries, add a thin layer of it to a tray. The tray should be shallow enough for children to easily reach inside. Clip an alphabet card to the tray or set the card next to it so children can easily reference it as they practice writing in the moon dust.

Extensions:
1. Create a sensory area with a space-themed twist. Add stars, figures, and flags to the sensory tub. Children can act out a scene using the astronaut figures. Encourage them to create craters or set up a colony on this new, strange “planet.” Provide a shoe with a rugged sole to make imprints on the surface of the “planet.”

2. Give each child a sheet of aluminum foil. Have them crumple their pieces of foil into different-sized “moon rocks.” Set out a bucket and have the children practice tossing the “moon rocks” into the bucket from different distances.

Take a look at the other upcoming workshops we offer—all jam-packed with ideas for exciting educational activities like these!

Explore Family Diversity with 5 Easy Activities

by Toisha Burns | Lakeshore Marketing

Families come in all shapes and sizes. This can be hard for young children to understand…since they spend so much time with the same, familiar family. Luckily, there are lots of easy ways to teach kids about family diversity—no traveling required.

Keep reading to get directions for five hands-on classroom activities that help kids explore all the ways families can be different—from the kinds of houses they live in to the activities they do for fun.

1. Home, Sweet Home!

world map

home-sweet-home

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Introduce a world map or globe to the class. Begin a discussion about the various places people live in the world and what their homes might look like.

Find pictures of different types of homes families live in around the world. Share the pictures with students and guide them through a comparing and contrasting activity of the photos. What parts of the houses are similar to the one you live in? How are they different? After discussing the homes, use a map to find the regions where these homes are located. Use a push-pin or tape to add each picture to the map in the region it’s from. If the photo covers the entire region, use a string to point to the region and tack the photo off to the side.

Display the map on one of your bulletin boards and use it throughout the year to conduct more compare and contrast activities with students…like people, foods, clothing, etc.

2. Who’s in Your Family?

whos in your family craft

Whos-in-your-family

Discuss how there are many types of families and that they take on different shapes and sizes. Show children different pictures of families.

Provide each child with a 5″ x 5″ piece of white paper and crayons or colored pencils. Ask them, “Who’s in your family?” Have children draw a picture of their family in the center of the paper. Using 5 Jumbo Craft Sticks, show children how to assemble the shape of a house around their picture and glue the craft sticks together. Center the picture of the family in the frame and glue it in place. Have each student write their family name on their house. Display the houses by hanging them around the classroom.

3. Families Grow Like Trees

family tree

families-grow-like-trees

Continue the conversation with students about family members. What is a generation? Depending on the level of your students, the conversation can be as simple as explaining the parent-to-child relationship and how it defines generations. For example, grandparents are a generation, parents are a generation and you are a generation. Families are made up of multiple generations, and these generations make up our family trees.

Assist children in creating a family tree. Provide each of them with an empty and clean paper towel roll, a 9″ paper plate and a sheet of construction paper. Have them decorate the paper plate to represent the top of a tree. They can collage and/or paint it. Assist them in gluing the paper plate and the paper towel roll onto the construction paper to create their tree. Provide them with circles, and on each circle have them draw a family member and label it with their relationship. Remind them to also create a circle for themselves. Finally, have students glue on the family member circles beginning with their circle just above the tree trunk. Then have them add their parents above them, then their grandparents and so on…

For a more challenging activity:
Have students research and create a list of relatives as far back as they can, making sure to document not only names, but relationships. Encourage them to interview family members to gather as much information as possible. Invite them to build their own family tree using the information collected. Once complete, allow students to present their family trees to the class. How many generations were you able to trace? Invite them to share one interesting fact they discovered, during the interviews, about their family or a family member.

4. Family Facts

family facts photo

family-facts

This next activity is great for use as a morning warm-up or end-of-day wrap-up. Complete a Family Facts graphing exercise each day as a group. Set up a graphing area in your classroom. This could be on a dry-erase board or a graphing pad. Title the graph with the fun fact question you want the children to answer about their families.

Introduce the daily question to the class and have students write their names on the graph under their answer. Review the results with the class once everyone has had a chance to contribute. Here are some topic suggestions:

a. Do you have family in another country?
b. How many people are in your family?
c. How many letters in your family name?
d. Have you vacationed outside of the United States?
e. How many pets do you have?

Expand questions further to allow students to share more about their families. For example, invite students to share which countries they have family members living in or what places they have vacationed to outside of the United States.

5. What’s in a Name?

sentence-strips

whats-in-a-name

Write each students’ first or last name on a sentence strip. Invite students to sit in a circle with the sentence strips face down in the center of it. Invite a student to pick a sentence strip from the pile and read the name to the class. Have the student whose name it is stand up. Demonstrate for students how to clap the syllables found in the name. Invite them to clap the number of syllables found by saying the name. Once the class has clapped the syllables in that name, invite that student to pick a new card and repeat the process.

Classroom Decorating Ideas: Real Teachers, Real Style

by JoAnna Rowe | Lakeshore Retail Marketing Manager

As back-to-school approaches, it’s the perfect time to sit back, relax…and start daydreaming about decorating your classroom for the next school year. It needs to be stylish and functional, and, of course, your students have to love it. Where do you even start? Right here! We talked to three amazing teachers to get their ideas for classroom styles that reflect their own personalities while inspiring young minds.

Find out which Lakeshore collections they love, and get decorating tips that will help you make your own classroom pop.

Our collections are available in our stores only—so you can experience the colors and designs firsthand…and coordinate on the spot with Lakeshore’s friendly staff. Click here to find a store near you and plan your visit.


Richard, Preschool Teacher – Superhero Collection

You don’t need any powers of your own to pull together this superhero classroom! Lakeshore Learning has done it for you. Motivate students with this bright and functional design.

blog image - cropped

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Decorating Tips:

  • Mix and match Lakeshore’s Superhero Collection with other classroom decor to make it your own. I used fadeless paper with a brick design to make normal classroom walls look like city streets.
  • Tie your theme into learning in creative ways. I encourage super behavior by displaying “How to Be a Superhero” and “Superhero Sayings” posters.
  • Add touches of color to bring the whole look together. I added red and black bordette, created a colorful gallery of student art and rolled out a carpet that brings even more color—as well as seating—to the room.

blog-image


Jodi, Fun in First – Chalk Art Collection

This bright and colorful Chalk Art Collection is the perfect way to welcome students…and I love its modern take on a classic classroom design. This eye-catching display combines chalkboard black with bold colors that will brighten any classroom.

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Decorating Tips:

  • Cut border strips and staple them together to create headbands for students. They’re perfect for birthdays and other special recognition.
  • When choosing your color theme, think about the colors of items in your classroom that you can’t change—like bookshelves, window coverings and cabinets. Choose a color palette that includes those colors.

little-girl


Mel, Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations – Chevron & Dots Collection

The Chevron & Dots Collection is colorful, cheery and incredibly versatile! I love using this collection to create bulletin boards that really grab kids’ attention.

Restroom Review Bulletin Board:
This restroom review bulletin board is a wonderful way to have students review weekly skills in the hallway. As teachers, we must utilize every teaching moment throughout the day—even when kids are on their way to the restroom! Of course, this can be done in your classroom as well. I always include our comprehension skills and strategies, grammar, and sight- and spelling words for the week. I also include math vocabulary for the unit we are working on.

Decorating Tip:

  • I love using Lakeshore’s Reusable Write & Wipe Pockets to change out this board weekly. Easy peasy! I also love triple layering bulletin board trim for an extra pop! I used bright neon notebook paper and traced circles. Then I layered the circle bulletin board letters on top. And who doesn’t love colorful tissue pom-poms?

image1

Back-To-School First-Grade Pencil Bulletin Board: 
This bulletin board is the most welcoming board in our first-grade hallway! Since our school is so large, we need our visitors and students to know which hallway they are in.

Decorating Tip:

  • I decided to layer Chalkboard Brights trim and Polka Dots trim—both from Teacher Created Resources. I handmade the burlap pencil letters using burlap, paint and twine.

image4

headshots-2

Visit your local Lakeshore Learning Store for these collections—and more!

Float Your Boat Lesson Plan

by Bethany Hernandez | Lakeshore Product Developer

From paper airplanes to plastic-bag parachutes, kids love to see what they can create from everyday items. Our lesson plan will captivate students as they design and construct aluminum foil boats—then see how many pennies they can transport safely across a plastic-tub ocean! Along the way, kids will get hands-on experience with the concept of buoyancy.

Float Your Boat Lesson Plan

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Note: This lesson is designed for 1st–2nd graders. While this lesson plan was created for the classroom, it’s also a fun activity to try at home!

Download the lesson plan. 

Objectives:

  • Students will predict how many pennies an aluminum foil boat will hold before it sinks.
  • Students will test their predictions and record the results.

You will need:

Introduction:

Before you start the activity, get your students excited to learn about floating…and sinking! Ask if anyone has ever traveled on a boat. Ask if they can remember what kind of boat it was and have them estimate how many passengers might have been on board. Ask students if there can ever be too many people on a boat. If so, what might happen?

Keep the discussion going until kids understand that too much weight on a boat may cause it to sink.

Float Your Boat Lesson

Directions:

  1. Give kids a Float Your Boat Record Sheet. Announce that they’re investigators. Their mission is to discover how many pennies can float in a foil boat before it sinks.
  2. Pass out large sheets of aluminum foil and ask kids to bend and fold the foil any way they like to make a boat—as long as it’s designed to hold pennies and float.
  3.  Ask kids to record their boat’s design in the record sheet. Explain that it will help their investigations.
  4. Have kids guess how many pennies their boat will hold. Be sure to write that number in the record sheet.

Guided/Independent Practice:

  1. Divide the class into groups or pairs.
  2. Provide each group with a tub full of water and a handful of pennies. It’s time to test the predictions!
  3. Have kids add penny passengers to their boat until it sinks! Ask them to look at the record sheet. Did their boat hold more or fewer pennies than they predicted? Record the actual amount of pennies each boat held to wrap up the investigation.

You can keep the learning going long after the first investigation is over. Talk with your students about their boat designs. Ask them why they think some boats held more pennies than others without sinking. Explain that boats with greater surface area have greater buoyancy—and can therefore hold more weight. Finally, invite students to share how they would update their boats to hold more pennies and why.

Polar Bear Craft

by Victoria Montoya | Lakeshore Director of Public Relations

Polar Bear Craft

As winter approaches and the cooler weather arrives, my kids start spending more and more time indoors. This is the time of year when I sometimes struggle to find enough fun, educational activities to keep the kids busy and engaged. So, I try to keep a bank of winter-themed crafts on hand to use as boredom busters—and to keep the kids thinking and learning. I especially appreciate simple crafts that use basic supplies we already have at home—like this cute polar bear craft made with cotton balls! After the kids are done crafting, you can channel their enthusiasm for this beloved animal into a fun research project—where kids learn more about polar bears and then record their thoughts and observations.

Note: This craft can also be adapted for use in the classroom—just add more supplies!

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You will need:

Directions:

Polar Bear Craft

  1. Glue cotton balls onto the plate, covering the surface.
  2. Print out the polar bear face template and cut out the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
  3. Glue the eyes, nose and mouth on top of the cotton balls to make the face, and then glue the ears to the top edge of the plate to complete the polar bear.
  4. To extend the fun and the learning, research polar bears online or check out a book from your local library. As you read about polar bears and look at photos together, guide children’s thinking with these ideas:
    • Talk about the polar bears’ fur. Ask, Why do you think their fur is white? If kids have never heard about camouflage, explain that the white fur makes it easy for them to hide in the snow, allowing them to sneak up on their prey.
    • Discuss animal habitats. Encourage kids to describe the region in which polar bears live and ask them to name other animals that might live in the same region (seals, arctic foxes, snowy owls, walruses, etc.).
    • You can also introduce early map reading skills by helping children use a map or globe to locate the Arctic Circle.
  5. After researching and talking about polar bears together, let kids use the polar bear writing page printout to complete each sentence. Help them think through any tricky concepts, like how to estimate a polar bear’s size.
  6. When kids are done, glue the printout to the back of the polar bear face and let kids use it to practice reading—developing reading fluency.

3 Tips to Assist Teachers with Struggling Readers

by Patti Clark | Lakeshore VP of Research & Development

Sky Rocket

  1. Help students break long, challenging words into recognizable pieces. When struggling readers try to decode long and unfamiliar words, they often decode the first syllable but then simply guess the rest of the word. Prior to reading a text, pull out a few of the multisyllable words that readers may have difficulty decoding. Use magnetic letters to build the words and then separate them into recognizable parts. For example, you might break the word skyrocket into sky and rocket. Alternatively, give students an activity sheet with the challenging words printed on it and cover the words with a transparency sheet. Give students a wet-erase marker and ask them to break down each multisyllable word by circling parts they recognize. For example, when analyzing the word destruction, a reader might circle “de,” “struc” and “tion.” Then help readers sound out each part that was circled and blend the sounds together.
  2.  To strengthen comprehension, provide a purpose for reading and preview a text prior to reading. Many struggling readers can easily read and decode individual words—but have difficulty getting meaning from a text. To help this type of struggling reader, start by providing a purpose or motivation for reading, such as learning more about a topic they find interesting. Next, walk readers through a text before they actually begin reading. For informational texts, point out common text features, including the title, photos and photo captions, illustrations and diagrams, and headings and subheadings. Discuss what students think will be in the text based on what they see. By previewing the text in this way, students begin focusing on meaning right away. Write down students’ thoughts so that you can go back and discuss their predictions as they read to see if they were correct. Another technique to assist students with comprehension is to provide two or three text-based questions before students begin reading. Tell readers that the answers to these questions can be found in the text. As students read the text, they should think about what they’re reading and find the answers to these questions, and be able to show where in the text they found the answers. By doing this, students become more aware of what they are reading and begin to interact with the text as they read.
  3. Use graphic organizers to help students focus on essential information and boost comprehension. Readers who struggle with comprehension can benefit from filling out graphic organizers as they read. Graphic organizers help students break down information, keep track of what they are reading and separate important information from less essential information. Graphic organizers also help organize the information presented in a text so that students can make connections more easily. Start by giving struggling readers a graphic organizer that is partially filled out, asking them to fill in the missing information while they read. Gradually fill out less and less information for students until they are able to fill out the graphic organizers entirely on their own.