Common Questions About Reading
How do good readers read?
Parents play a key role in developing children's language/life experiences. Successful readers read for both meaning and enjoyment using:
1. knowledge and past experiences
2. the text and illustrations
3. letter-sound relationships
Successful readers integrate all of these while struggling readers tend to over rely on just one or two of them.
Does it matter if we read every day?
YES! For decades researchers around the world have proven that students who read more read better. They develop more expansive vocabularies and achieve a higher level of reading and writing development. We will be reading daily in school. This time spent reading is one of the best ways to:
1. Learn new vocabulary and information.
2. Increase speed and fluency (that is, read smoothly and accurately).
3. Improve comprehension.
4. Notice authors' writing styles which may influence our writing!
5. Develop a greater interest in reading and learning.
6. Develop a love of reading.
Reading at home matters, too. Reading for pleasure will help your child become a good reader. We will learn how to choose "just-right" books.
What are "just-right" books?
A just-right book has these characteristics:
1. Is a book your child is interested in.
2. Your child can read and figure out almost all the words.
3. He/She understands what is being read (he/she can tell you what the story is about or what he/she learned).
4. It can be read fairly smoothly. If your child is stumbling over many words, he/she will not be able to focus on reading for understanding.
Do we always have to read out loud?
No. If your child wants to read out loud -- GREAT, enjoy it! However, it is not necessary every night. Once kids are readers, they do most of their reading silently. (Imagine if everything you read you had to read it out loud?!) Instead of reading together, talk with your child about what he/she is reading -- but don't make it a quiz! Try to be relaxed.
What do I say when my child is stuck on a tricky word?
When we learned how to read, our parents told us to "sound it out" when we got stuck. While phonics IS an important part of reading, reading for meaning is the ultimate goal. When your child is stuck, try saying these prompts before saying "sound it out".
1. Wait 5 - 10 seconds -- see what he can do to help himself.
2. What would make sense there?
3. What do you think that word could be?
4. Use the picture to help you figure out what it could be.
5. Skip over it and read to the end of the sentence. Now, go back and reread it. What do you think it is?
6. Put in a word that would make sense there.
7. Look at how that word begins. Reread the sentence and get your mouth ready to say that sound.
8. Tell your child the word.
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