Ending one year and looking forward to a new one should be exciting and full of anticipation! It is also a time of reflection and looking ahead. I want to share a few grade level topics that support your child’s love of reading. Happy New Year and all the best in 2014.
1. An important step for Kindergarten students to become better readers is to work on phonemic awareness, (PA). PA is learning that every word is a combination of sounds. Before children learn to sound out words, it is necessary for them to know that letters represent sounds! As a bit of practice, ask your child to tell you the sounds they hear in the word cat- kuh-a-tuh. Don’t worry about correct spelling at this point. Practice connecting the sound with the letter by using what I call, voice-print-match. Touch each letter as you and your child say it. Move onto more challenging words to make the connection meaningful. This exercise should be viewed as a lesson in letter/sound relationship that will build your child’s confidence in sounding out letter representations. Model the sound!
2. Your first grader and sight words! You may be wondering why knowing sight words is a key element is teaching reading. The truth is that the benefits of being able to recognize high-frequency words enables your child to read more smoothly and at a faster rate. With this in mind, your child will be supported in remembering more of what they read and to make sense of it. Comprehension is the final goal of reading. As practice, make a set of flash cards from the helpful Kidzone website. Make it a game of memory, or “go fish”. Either way, these activities will support your child in learning his/her sight words.
3. Your third grader. At this juncture, your student is transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. To support your student during this transition period, research shows that conversations that build vocabulary on a certain topic goes far to support the cause. Read challenging texts to your child, introduce them to new vocabulary and use words that he/she doesn’t know in normal day to day conversation. This groundwork will support your student when their decoding skills catch up, should they be challenged in this area.
All these are helpful reading comprehension strategies to practice with your child, but if you would like to further their literacy support, contact me to schedule a free reading assessment!