21 Strategies to Help Students Who Do Not Understand Contractions and Compound Words

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Are you looking for strategies to help students who do not understand contractions and compound words? If so, keep reading.

1. Get the learner to find the words that are used to make the most common contractions they use (e.g., can’t, won’t, wouldn’t, etc.).

2. Give the learner a list of the most common contractions and compound words with the corresponding words from which they are created. Let the learner keep the list at their desk as a reference.

3. Get the learner to make their own dictionary of contractions and compound words with the corresponding words from which they are created.

4. Include a contraction and/or compound word in each week’s spelling list for the learner to learn.

5. Teach the learner how compound words are made by writing two words on construction paper and sliding them together.

6. Get the learner to be a peer tutor to teach another learner a concept they have learned. This can serve as reinforcement for the learner.

7. Give practice in compound words and contractions by using a computer program that gives the learner instant feedback.

8. Make sure the learner is not required to learn more information than they are capable of learning at any time.

9. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the learner to hurry and commit errors.

10. Get the learner to question any directions, explanations, and instructions not grasped.

11. Give the learner an increased chance for help or assistance on academic tasks (e.g., peer tutor, instructions for work sent home, frequent interactions, etc.).

12. Praise the learner for beginning, staying on, and finishing tasks.

13. Get the learner to practice a new skill or task alone or with an aide, the teacher, or a peer before the entire group attempts the learning experience or before performing for a grade.

14. Present compound words and contractions and their meanings to the learner before they read new content. These may be entered in a “vocabulary” notebook kept by the learner.

15. Praise the learner for demonstrating knowledge of compound words and contractions: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

16. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the learner’s progress. The parents may reinforce the learner at home for improved comprehension of contractions and compound words at school.

17. Assess the appropriateness of the task to ascertain (a) if the task is too complicated and (b) if the duration of time scheduled to finish the task is sufficient.

18. Select a peer to model comprehension of contractions and compound words for the learner and to assist the learner with instructions, etc.

19. Consider using AI to teach reading comprehension.

20. Consider using Alexa to teach reading skills.

21. Try using one of our many apps designed to teach literacy skills and help students with reading issues:

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