Decoding strategy: Look for pieces relies on students to understand that they know a lot…and teach them how to use it.
Most people know this as “Look for Chunks” and they have a piece of cheese. It never made sense to me.
I didn’t know many kids who even knew that cheese came in chunks…they see either cheese slices for grilled cheese or shredded cheese on tacos. If we are trying to teach kids to make connections, I had a hard time explaining this. BUT, they know puzzles.
decoding strategy: Make the Connection
Using puzzles, students can easily see how all the pieces make a picture. If a piece is missing, something in the picture is missing. The same can be practiced with the strategy, “Look for the Pieces You Know.” When we use their strategy mat, we move down the strategies. Look at the Pictures, Get Your Mouth Ready, Slide and Sound, Skip and Reread, then…Look for Pieces You Know. Using the word “jam,” I would ask the students, “What do you know?” I want them to see the word “am” in the word. I ask them to cover the “j” and to say the word “am.” Then, go back and Get Your Mouth Ready.
decoding strategy: Small Group Practice
As with all the strategies, we need to have students practice using the strategy in a controlled way first.
Using the cards with puzzles highlighting the smaller “known” word part.
Students can practice 2 or 3 cards a day for a week.
Then, use the cards that ask the students to circle the known piece of the word.
The important part of the task isn’t decoding necessarily, it’s finding the smaller “pieces” in words.
decoding strategy: There is more than one piece in a puzzle.
Just like the heading says, there can be more than one piece to look for in a puzzle.
Students must practice looking for pieces in words, but every word doesn’t have a smaller word in it. Some words can be connected to families (-ap, -ay, -ight, etc.)
Some words can be connected with blends or digraphs in the beginning and ending place. Some words have more than one piece they know.
Words like “shout” are great examples of more than one piece having meaning. The students can identify the “sh” and the “ou” has the sound in house.
decoding strategy: Practice Makes Permanent
Using cards to help students practice is a great start; however, students can also find words in their stories and books that have smaller pieces they know. Having time during small group instruction can make this strategy invaluable. When they are ready, make sure the icon is added to their Strategy Mat.