Help Your Child Become A Better Reader

Five Finger Rule: 
While reading the first page of a book, count the unknown words (using fingers to keep track is fine). If there are five or more unknown words, the book is too hard for now. Read that book together.

Another important consideration - some second may be reading "chapter books". However they might not understand what's been read.  Ask your child lots of questions about the story in general and about specific pages to see if he really understands what was read. It also is important to monitor your child's choices for appropriate content. 

Reading Strategies 

Sound It Out 
Use the phonics rules that we are learning in class.
Chunk it up 
Break the word into syllables. Remember, each syllable must have a vowel.

Word in a Word
Look for words within words.
Find the base word 
Cover suffixes and prefixes to find the base word.

At home you can help your child by . . .

·Pointing out the letter-sound relationships your child is learning on labels, boxes, newspapers, magazines and signs.

·Listening to your child read words and books from school. Be patient and listen as your child practices. Let your child know you are proud of his or her reading.

·Teaching the meaning of words, especially words that are important to understanding a book.

·Teaching ways to learn the meaning of new words. Teachers cannot possibly teach students the meaning of every new word they see or read. Children should be taught how to use dictionaries to learn word meanings, how to use known words and word parts to figure out other words, and how to get clues about a word from the rest of the sentence.

·Helping children understand what they are reading. Good readers think as they read and they know whether what they are reading is making sense. Teachers help children to check their understanding. When children are having difficulty, teachers show them ways to figure out the meaning of what they are reading.

·Rereading familiar books. Children need practice in reading comfortably and with expression using books they know.

·Building reading accuracy. As your child is reading aloud, point out words he missed and help him read words correctly. If you stop to focus on a word, have your child reread the whole sentence to be sure he understands the meaning.

·Building reading comprehension. Talk with your child about what they are reading. Ask about new words. Talk about what happened in a story. Ask about the characters, places, and events that took place. Ask what new information they have learned from the book. Encourage children to read on their own. 

Make reading a part of every day!
·Share conversations with your child over meal times and other times you are together. Children learn words more easily when they hear them spoken often. Introduce new and interesting words at every opportunity.

·Read together every day. Spend time talking about stories, pictures, and words.

·Be your child's best advocate. Keep informed about your child's progress in reading and ask the teacher about ways you can help.

·Be a reader and a writer. Children learn habits from the people around them.

·Visit the library or bookstores often. Story times, computers, homework help, and other exciting activities await the entire family.