How NOT to Teach Reading: Try Again

I Guess Not!

Part Twelve of a 12-part video series showing the flaws of common word reading strategies taught in schools– Moral: Do not teach struggling readers to guess!


The Try Again Strategy (or Tryin’ Lion)

This is a strategy that counsels the student to keep trying. Of course, trying again after a failure is an essential part of honing any skill, but in the absence of explicit instruction, telling a reader to “keep trying” is just frustrating and can provoke anxiety.

Structured Literacy offers us a powerful, explicit, systematic, direct instruction framework for understanding the structure of written English. The reader is encouraged to practice because practice can be accomplished with a high level of accuracy and has a clear payoff.  It feels good. It improves the reader’s word mindfulness.

Watch the video below to see an example of how this strategy is taught and see a better way to help your struggling reader. 

How you can help your struggling reader

We want to give struggling readers specific, explicit, and systematic instruction so that they feel they can tackle unknown words. This is exactly how the Lexercise structured literacy approach works. Connect with one of our certified, structured literacy therapists here.

How NOT to Teach Reading: “Does it make sense?”

I Guess Not!

Part Four of a 12-part video series showing the flaws of common word reading strategies taught in schools– Moral: Do not teach struggling readers to guess!


Does it make sense? – Elephant Ears Strategy:

The strategy “Elephant Ears” asks children to guess at unknown words based off of the context of the sentence. If a child reads a sentence and the word doesn’t seem to fit, they should ask themselves “Did that make sense?” It then prompts the child to think about what other word would fit, that starts with the same letter as the word that doesn’t seem to make sense. The problem with this strategy is that it encourages guessing and, ultimately, can result in more dysfluent, difficult reading.