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Travel Reading Kit Also Improves Comprehension...

I am blessed with two children who love to read. They are both already great at decoding and fluency, but we've been working on improving comprehension.

I developed a strategy that seems to work well for my mildly autistic daughter, which we've dubbed the S.M.I.L.E. system. S-summarize, M-make connections, I-imagine, L-look up and learn, E-enjoy. Basically, she makes notes on post-its as she reads, which she can go back and review later or use as discussion points during one of the book talks she has to give at school. Each type of note corresponds to a different color post-it so that she can see at a glance what were the key summary points to remember, what literary and personal connections she made as she was reading, what she imagined as she was reading, what new vocabulary words she learned, and what she enjoyed most about the book...all by the color paper the note was written on.

Since my kids insist on taking reading material on even the shortest car trip to the store, I wanted to make a travel reading kit that would facilitate using the S.M.I.L.E. strategy anytime, anyplace. I up-cycled an old Weight Watchers zippered case to hold the kit, which includes a set of colored post-it's laid out on a S.M.I.L.E. strategy card, a pen or pencil for note-taking, a S.M.I.L.E. bookmark, and a pocket dictionary. The case is even big enough to include the book she is currently reading. 

Click on "Read more" for more information, photos, and a link to FREE printable PDFs for the bookmark and strategy card if you want to make your own kit. Happy Reading!

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