Tracking print is a skill that is imperative to the learning to read process. As students point at the word their voice is saying, they develop motor behaviors that will move to the automaticity of eyes movement from left to right as print is tracked. It also aides students pay detailed attention to sight words and to the decoding of text. Because this skill is so important, I like to add variety to keep tracking fun and exciting.
It is easy to make a pointer using a craft stick. You can glue just about anything on the top such as a paper tooth when reading a dental book, a snowflake, a heart, or even a shamrock. Kids love to make their own pointers to bring to the guided reading table. It makes a great art center!
I love using these finger lights at guided reading! Students who have been struggling with word to word correspondence seem to perfect the skill when they are able to use these fun, inexpensive beams.
I especially love to use these pointers when we are reading one of our space books like the alien book in the picture. Because these lights are fairly inexpensive, I can send these lights home with the paper reader if it is in my budget for the school year. If not, they are still working a year later, ready to use again and again.
Students that are struggling with tracking print have a kinesthetic link with the light as it glows on each word. Students that can already track print are able to increase fluency as they glide the light along.