New to this, I have been going the names of these strategies a lot these past few weeks as I just couldn’t get them in my head. So I wondered, how would the first graders feel?

Can anyone point out any downside to simplifying the names of the strategies e.g. Use prior knowledge = Use what you know; Adjust and apply different reading rates to match text = match reading rate to text; etc?





Robin Wooten

Also, does anyone do this and already have somewhat more first grade friendly strategy titles?


If you read through the Ready Reference Guide, the Sisters suggest some language that might help students build that understanding of the strategy. I think we want to keep the language we use for the strategies as close as possible to the menu, and I think for the most part, the kids can understand the terms after we spend time modeling and discussing what it means.
Certainly, adding your own language you feel they are comfortable with or can relate to as you are introducing is appropriate and necessary :). It’s like introducing new vocabulary–after a bit of time they will get it. I love how our first grade kids have picked up on the words “strategy, stamina and independence”–and use them effectively :).

Ellen Cawood

I teach first grade and simplify them for the kids…and so they will fit on the cards. In first grade handwriting the strategy of “Adjust and apply different reading rates to match text” would take up 1/3 of the board! I don’t have a list for what I call everything but, off the top of my head, I call check for understanding a Quick Check and the mental image one I call Mind Movie. Most of the others I just shorten. Ex. "Ask questions through out reading process just becomes “Ask questions.” While teaching it we talk about asking questions at the beginning, middle, and end (and sometime the child’s pictures show this) but I don’t put the whole thing on the menu.


Good ideas, Ellen. I get your points!

Robin Wooten

Thanks, Ellen. I like the idea of the shortened versions because I want something that keeps the intent of the strategy but that we can use as a mantra easily - Mind Movie etc is perfect. I think this would greatly help first graders catch and hold on to the strategy intent. Many are easier but there are a few that are long and detailed for very early readers. Thanks.

Irene Valdez

As a teacher of higher grades, if you are going to teach different titles to the strategies at least teach the regular strategy names at the end of the year. The it is more likely they will connect what I’m teaching to what they have already learned with you.


It’s like the math and science vocabulary we introduce–we always hear from our upper grades how to be sure to use the terms they have to know when they reach those testing grades.

Robin Wooten

That was exactly my concern and the tightrope I am walking - I hope to get something that is very close to the original title so it recognizable & the strategy intent shows but that is something a 6 year old fledgling reader can remember and use as a memory mantra.

Joan Moser

Such a fabulous conversation! ivaldez has the biggest point here, we want to stay as true to the language used throughout the school so kids do not have to relearn the same strategies that were taught with a different name to kids that are younger. Such great thinking!

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