Book Review:
Strategies That Work

"Strategies that Work" is a book that truly changed the way I teach and the way I think about teaching. The ideas, lessons and clear instructions made it possible for me to take my class to the next level of reading comprehension, enjoyment and ability.

I have used many of the ideas in "Strategies that Work" this year and plan on implementing many more next year. One of my favorite lessons is to take a story that you connect to and discuss the "text-to-self" connections you have with the book. This is modeling to the children that reading is a very personal, very deep activity that can be life changing.

Another idea I loved from Strategies that Work was having a "reading toolbox" for the children while reading. There were different tools to use, and each child can pick what works best for them.

I have found many of my students referring to the toolbox during guided reading! It is exciting when I student learns how to "chunk" or re-read.

Get comfortable, get cozy, get reading!

The last big idea I took from this book was to make your classroom as comfortable as possible to enrich the children's desire to sit, read and discuss books. Think about when you want to read a good book, what do you do? I know I find a couch, blanket, nice lighting and snuggle in. Your students would love that, too!

One of the best places to read in this Happy Giddy Sandbox with a blanket and book buddy. They children adore doing this because they have their own, cozy, safe space to sit and read for large blocks of time. Sometimes when you come into my room there are as many as 3 children in this area reading books - instead of playing in centers!

I also bought this Happy Giddy Sandbox for the children to use because I like it more than a tent. I can see the children at all times. I have placed some of my favorite books, pillows and a cool light that hangs inside it.

I have found that Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding has also made me a better reader and storyteller. In the past I read quickly, without focusing on the words. Now I take my time to tell the story, so that the children are captivated and ready to comprehend.

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Still have questions? Contact me about using Strategies that Work in your classroom.

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