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Five Reasons for Children to Read "Out Soft"

My students read "out soft" for many reasons in the classroom.
Five Reasons for Children to Read "Out Soft" This simple strategy can help children in a variety of situations in and out of the classroom.

First of all, I'll bet you've already figured out the meaning of "out soft." Although I made up the term, the students understand what it means right away. I'll introduce this idea at the very beginning of the school year, and make sure the students know that reading "out soft" means the children are able to hear their own voice as they reads, but wouldn't disturb the person sitting next to them. An adult might call this "barely audible." As you might have guessed, it's the opposite of "out loud," which requires volume and projection. You might call it whispering, but the term "out soft" is just more fun!
 
We practice. Some children, by nature, struggle with turning down the volume and turning off the projection, but they do get it.Once they get it, they are empowered!

 
This little trick has helped many little ones. Plus, it has helped me as well! Sometimes directions are hard to understand, but I've found that when reading those same directions loud enough to hear yourself, they can make a whole lot more sense! Seriously, how many times has a child come to you confused about written directions... then you ask the child to read the directions to you, and suddenly they'll say, "Oh, I get it!"  Works like a charm!
 
 
I always start reading groups with a warm up. The children are trained to arrive at the reading table, choose one of their books, and start reading "out soft." This not only prevents down time while waiting for the stragglers, but it gives me a chance to listen in and do some assessing. Sometimes I'll give them something specific to warm up with. 
 
Studies show reading words in phrases increases fluency, so I often have the children warm up with these phrases: Fry Sight Word Phrases One little hint: be sure the sight words are easy for the children so they can build the fluency when practicing them as phrases.
 
These sets are similar to the above, using different lists. Reading Warm Up Phrases
 
 
As you know, many children struggle to concentrate on independent reading. They are distracted by just about anything, including their own thoughts. I find having these children read "out soft" really helps them pay attention to their reading!

Reading with a peer is a wonderful strategy that should be used frequently in the classroom. Think about it, 50% of the children are all practicing their reading skills, while the other 50% are listening and guiding the readers. It's a win-win! Plus, the children love it! But when all the children are interacting at once, they'll need to be reading "out soft!"
 
When children hear themselves, it helps the memory. This works with word reading (see #2) as well as important science facts, and even math facts! When I use these practice cards with my students, I encourage lots of repetition, but I also encourage the children to say the entire fact "out soft." Fact Fluency Practice Cards
 
 
This same system is available on Boom Learning:  Boom Learning Fact Fluency System Bundle

How else can children learn by reading "out soft?"


Five Reasons for Children to Read "Out Soft" This simple strategy can help children in a variety of situations in and out of the classroom.

What Are You Doing This Summer?

Congratulations on making it through this school year!

 
I don't know about you, but it usually takes me about a week of being a total slug before I'm ready to think about what's next. 
 

Then it's time to get going. What is next?

 
If you're working with children this summer, it's best to build community with some teamwork games! Check out this blog post: Working at Summer Camp? Or Summer School? How to Get Started!
 
What Are You Doing This Summer? This blog post has several suggestions, ideas, and freebies for teachers who will be working with children this summer.

If you're working with children this summer, it's GOT to be fun! Whether you're teaching summer school, tutoring, or working summer camp or day care, you've got to do something to get those kiddos to "buy in!" For most, themes are the way to go! The image below brings you to a blog post with many ideas for bringing a camping theme to your program. See Camping Week!

What Are You Doing This Summer? This blog post has several suggestions, ideas, and freebies for teachers who will be working with children this summer.
 
Another fun theme that has plenty of ways for summer learning fun, take a "trip" to the beach! Seashore Week!

 
Whether or not it's an Olympic year, you can have your own Olympics. Boy, do the kiddos love this one! Academic Summer Games: A Celebration of Learning!
 
What Are You Doing This Summer? This blog post has several suggestions, ideas, and freebies for teachers who will be working with children this summer.

 Looking for a little something to get you started? This post shares 6 different freebies that will get you going for summer learning fun! A Few Summer Freebies!

No matter what your plans are this summer, there's no doubt that pampering yourself is in order!  Here are 5 things you'll want to think about doing this summer: 5 Summer "Must Dos" for Teachers

What Are You Doing This Summer? This blog post has several suggestions, ideas, and freebies for teachers who will be working with children this summer.

No matter what you're doing this summer, I hope that it is spectacular!

 
What Are You Doing This Summer? This blog post has several suggestions, ideas, and freebies for teachers who will be working with children this summer.

 

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