Improving Reading with Home Practice & Parent Involvement
Dear Legacy Parent or Guardian:
We are all aware of the importance of learning to read well. Unfortunately, reading can at times be a difficult skill to master. At school we work on developing reading fluency using Read Naturally, a program that incorporates the strategies of modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring to build reading fluency. To really become fluent, children also need to work on reading at home. Many parents ask what they can do at home to support their child’s reading development. The same strategies we use at school can be very effective at home, and we encourage you to incorporate them into your reading with your children – it’s a great way to continue your involvement in the education process:
Modeling is an easy strategy to use whenever you read with your child. Instead of just reading to your child, have him/her read the words along with you at his/her own pace. Reading along will help your child learn new words by creating a sight-sound connection. You may want to ask you child to point at the words as you read together to ensure that you are looking and reading the same words.
Repeated reading is another powerful way to build fluency. To use this strategy, encourage your child to read a passage until s/he has mastered it. After reading the same text several times, your child will read it much more confidently.
Monitoring your child’s progress will help both of you by proving that your efforts are having an effect. You can keep track of how many words your child can read in minute, or how many questions about the passage s/he can correctly answer. A visual aid, like a graph or a chart, provides motivation and enables your child to take ownership of his/her successes. Your child will also benefit if you offer encouragement, specific feedback, or a small reward for progress. As s/he improves, continue to challenge your child with more difficult reading material.
How can parents support reading?
· Readingcomprehension means that your child understands and remembers what he reads or hears someone else read. You can help by asking questions about the stories you read together.
· Be sure to ask questions that review the facts in the story and also questions that require your child to use his own information added to the story. “Why do you think…?” “What if…then, what would have happened?
· Pre-read a story by looking at all the pictures and talking about (predicting) what the story might be about. Include any words that your child will need to understand when he reads the story.
· Encourage your child as he reads signs, TV messages, logos, and other printed words in our daily lives.
· SSR-(Silent sustained reading) Show your child that you enjoy reading by taking some quiet time to read together-each in your own book.
· Watch to see how your child attacks unknown and known words. Wait, let him show and tell you how he “figures it out.” Help him use a variety of strategies to“figure it out.”
· When your child makes an error, your first question is: “Does that make sense?” Then you help him use strategies to get the unknown word.
· You might have him look at the picture to remind him of what the story is about.
· You might direct his attention to the beginning letter and have him “sound it out.” Then re-read with the corrected word and confirm that it makes good sense.
· Monitor your child’s reading-a minimum of 20 minutes each day.
Reading is about getting meaning from printed words.