Hoot Reading Blog

Creating Confident Learners

Posts by:

Sara Christle

The Reading Brain

“The more that you read, the more that you will know. The more that you’ll learn, the more places you will go.” – Dr. Seuss

Our Connector to The World Around us


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Author Spotlight: Oliver Jeffers

Every generation has its iconic children’s authors and illustrators, such as Roald Dahl, Robert Munsch, Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Judy Blume, and Julia Donald – to name a few.

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Comprehension Strategies (Making Meaning of Texts) – Part Two

In Part One of Comprehension Strategies (Making Meaning of Texts), we discussed the importance of knowing the basics like decoding (knowing our sound patterns, sight words, and the ability to figure out unknown words) and developing concepts of print (knowing how to use pictures to help decode, using pictures to support understanding, looking at the cover and title, knowing which way to turn the pages, etc.), but also the importance of comprehension (our ability to make meaning from a text). In Part Two, we’re going to dive a little deeper into the specific skills and strategies we often look for when building comprehension abilities:

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Comprehension Strategies (Making Meaning of Texts) – Part One

As adults, when it comes to reading, a lot of us think we have it figured out because we’ve been doing it for most of our lives. However, when we start to work with or raise children it can often manage to become a challenging and elusive skill – especially if you have a struggling reader in front of you! 

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Beyond the Alphabet – Phonograms, Digraphs, and…Diphthongs?

Does anyone else still have to silently sing the alphabet song in their head to figure out the alphabetical order? We all know that song, especially if we work with or have young children. When we start the journey of developing a reader and literate member of society, everything initially hinges on that song. We sing it in the bath, in the car, in the stroller, at the table – absolutely everywhere until we make sure that kid knows it no matter what.

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Sight Words – Unlocking the World of Reading

When it comes to reading, especially as a new reader, it can be a lot of work! Every single letter has a sound on its own, and then it makes different sounds when it’s with other letters. Just about every time an emergent reader thinks they’re catching on, they meet a word that doesn’t follow the rules they just mastered. English is a particularly tricky language this way.

Luckily, we have sight words to rely on, and there’s a reason your child’s teacher works so hard on them – and even mentions them in the report card. Your child’s knowledge of sight words essentially tells us how far they can get in reading. Sight words are the most commonly used words in the English Language. They make up nearly 75% of written texts but, what makes them tricky, is that they often aren’t that easy to decode, or sound out. Therefore, if your child is spending their entire reading experience sounding out the the’s, is’s, could’s, our’s, are’s, and because’s (to name a few), they are working extremely hard to not even gain the meaning of what they are reading. Reading this way is extremely taxing for emergent readers, and it gets in the way of their understanding. When we teach reading, we start with decoding, but our ultimate goal is comprehension and critical thinking. That can’t happen unless those sight words get mastered.

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