Some general thoughts about reading with your child...
  • Be supportive and uncritical
  • Use positive, specific praise- "You really did well"
  • Encourage an "I CAN" attitude
I want to help my child with phonics/phonemic awareness...
  • Play oral word games (Rhyming, Say _without the_, Change _ to _)
  • Look, Say, Cover, Write

I want to help my child with fluency...

  • Choose a "just right" book- Children get the most practice with fluency in familiar passages at a level they can understand.
  • Test accuracy rate using the 5 finger rule- if the student misses more than 5 words on the first page of the book, it is probably too difficult.
  • Encourage the student to do easy, repeated readings to build fluency
  • Help the student with difficult words
  • Try taking turns reading pages
  • Echo reading- student repeats after you read aloud

I want to help my child with vocabulary...

  • Explain new words using student friendly definitions.
  • Give examples and non-examples of the word meaning
  • Encourage the use of vocabulary when student is discussing the story want to help my child with comprehension...
  • Ask open ended questions- select appropriate questions for the student and text
    • What was your favorite part?
    • What did you think about when (describe some event in the text)
    • What was the problem in the story? How was it solved?
    • Tell me about the characters in the story.
    • Describe 2 you saw in this story.
    • What was the most important event (main idea) of the story?
    • Where did the story take place? How do you know?
    • Why do you think the character ?
    • Non-Fiction: What new information did you learn as you were reading?
    • What do you think the author was trying to say to you by writing this book?
    • How was alike/different from ?
    • Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why?
  • Encourage the use of reading strategies while reading
    • Predict- make predictions based on the pictures and reading the first page(s) of the text by asking, "What will happen next?"
    • Ask Questions
      • Readers ask questions to clarify meaning, speculate about text coming up, determine the author's intent, style, content, or format, and locate an answer
      • Talk about the questions you have before, during, and after reading.
      • Play the "I Wonder Game" by asking "I wonder why..."
    • Clarify Meaning
      • Strategies for readers to use when they are stumped and need help to get back on the comprehension track.
        • Go back and reread
        • Read ahead to clarify meaning
        • Identify what you don't understand
        • Think about what you already know
        • Look at the pictures and then reread
        • Does it look right/sound right/make sense?
      • Remember the goal is not "getting through the text" but rather "getting something out of the text"
    • Summarize
      • Ask: What did you just read about?
      • Retell the Story. Ask your child to tell the story as if they were telling it to someone that has never heard it before.
      • Have your child stop at the end of a few paragraphs to paraphrase what they have read.

Websites and Resources:

7 Kevs to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It!

By: Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins


Read Write Think:


Final thoughts:

Helping children become better readers is much more than monitoring to see if they are reading words accurately and sounding them out. When we use these strategies alone, we fail to teach the bigger picture...that reading is thinking. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Widstrand at [email protected].

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