As students progress in the use of decoding strategies, introducing “Chop the Ending” is added. Students need to have an understanding of base words and endings BEFORE you attempt to teach this strategy.
Recognizing a base word is a critical skill for readers. Having students “Look for Pieces They Know” can lead to discussions about word endings, like in the word “sees.”
Students may be quick to find the piece they know (“see”). When you ask them to “Chop the Ending” they will cover the ending, say the word, then add the ending to read the word. There are 3 steps to practicing this strategy.
1. Teach the Endings
The only way students can tell the difference between “Look for Pieces You Know” and “Chop the Ending” is to teach the endings.
I would never suggest teaching all the endings at once, but teaching them as they come across the word in their reading. The headings students will typically see are on the anchor chart.
I made header pictures to display on our small group reading board. It can be a quick reference for using this strategy.
2. Practice with Picture Support
I made two levels of practice cards to help students practice this strategy. After teaching the endings, they would practice with small cards in small group. The cards have an ax under the ending, to help students “see” the ending easier. You can put 1 card in each guided reading basket, when they are finished with the card, they can pass it to their right and continue practicing with several cards.
3. Practice without Picture Support
The next level of cards is just words, no picture cues. Students practice this with the same procedure as before.
Make sure your students are practicing the strategy by pulling words from their reading to “Chop the Ending.” They can even record the found words with endings in a journal.
Don’t forget to add the icon to the Strategy Mat, when they are using the strategy.
If you’d like a FREE Chop the Ending Sample, click the link or click the picture below.
If you’d like the full-set of Chop the Ending decoding strategy, click the link or the picture below.