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

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

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

3. Get the student 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 student to learn.

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

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

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

8. Make sure the student 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 student to hurry and commit errors.

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

11. Give the student 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 student for beginning, staying on, and finishing tasks.

13. Get the student 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 student before they read new content. These may be entered in a “vocabulary” notebook kept by the student.

15. Praise the student for demonstrating knowledge of compound words and contractions: (a) give the student 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 student 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 student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student 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 student and to assist the student 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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