Cloonloo National School
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Reading Tips

Before Reading – These strategies can be adopted before reading to indentify the child’s prior knowledge  on a topic and to give the child a purpose when reading:

  • Make predictions  based on the title and illustrations
  • Create a K.W.L Chart as follows
             What I know about the topic             What I want to learn                                What I learned
  •  Fill in column 1 and 2 before reading and 3 after reading.
  • Challenging Vocabulary – Make a list of all the new or difficult words that appear in the text and explain to your child before reading. Your child puts the words into sentences.


During Reading  – Often children can read the words in the text but not understand what the  words are saying.  Here are some ways to practice comprehensive skills:

  • Read-Cover-Remember-Retell –  You ask the child to Read only as much as his/her hand covers,  Cover up part of the story just read, Think about what was read and remember it, Retell what was read in his/her own words.
  • PALS (Partner Assisted Learning) – Child reads aloud for 5 minutes while parent listens.  Parent corrects any reading errors as the child reads by initially encouraging the child to use their skills to decode the word and if this does not work, by identifying the word themselves. Parent then asks questions on what was just read for another 5 minutes e.g. What characters were in the story?  What was it about? Where was it set?  Parent and child can then swap roles with parent reading and child asking questions.
  • VIPS (Very Important Points) –  Child must identify most important points from story.
  • Underlining Difficult Words – Helps recognise words quicker.


After Reading – After reading the text at least twice, it is important to ask the child questions to ensure they have understood what they have just read.  Here are some comprehension strategies:

  • Sensory Impressions – Draw a hand outline and in each finger write – What you could see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
  • Fact or Fib? – Make up statements about a topic and children identify if they are true or false.
  • Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down – Put up thumb if statement is correct and vice versa
  • Questions about characters, setting,  plot, e.g. Who was the main character?  How would you feel if….?  What might happen next?  What order did …happen
  • Alphaboxes – Helps children expand vocabulary.  Children have to think of words relating to the text that start with each letter of the alphabet.
  • Word of the Day – Choose an interesting word and encourage children to use the word as many times as possible throughout the day or week.
  • KWL – Complete the third column of KWL chart.

Why choose Cloonloo National School?

  • Low pupil-teacher ratio – 1:1 teaching
  • DEIS School – This means extra grant to the school to subsidise school activities, outing and cost of books etc
  • Heavily subsidised books – total book cost is €25 which includes all books, copies, pencils, colours etc
  • Heavily subsidised school outings, tours
  • Free packed school lunches
  • Heavily subsidised swimming classes for all children
  • Teachers very accessible and available to talk to
  • Uniform – Very practical. White or blue t-shirt, navy or black trousers/tracksuit bottoms