We've been doing a lot of reading at our house lately. My twins are in kindergarten, and most of their homework consists of reading every day. They LOVE it, and I love doing it with them. It's nice to have my teaching experience when we sit down to read together.
I also know reading homework can be a bit frustrating at times. Sometimes your child doesn't want to do it, and sometimes you may not be sure how to help. I can promise whatever help you are giving is making a difference. Just the time spent doing it will be beneficial, but if you're looking for a little extra help, maybe these reading strategies will come in handy. Here are three questions we would always use in first grade to help with those tricky words.
If your child reads the word 'hat', but the word is really 'cap' you can ask, "does that look right?" 'Hat' would make sense, but it not only has to make sense, it has to look right. Have your child look at the beginning letter of the word. The beginning letter is 'c'. Ask your child if 'hat' looks right when the beginning letter is a 'c'.
If your child reads the word 'wat' for the word 'what' you can ask, "does that sound right?" 'Wat' looks right, but does it sound right? You can discuss how 'wat' is not a real word, and it doesn't sound right. Then ask your child if he/she knows a word close to 'wat' that would sound right.
If your child reads, "the snake likes in a hole,"when the sentence really says, "the snake lives in a hole," you can ask, "does that make sense?" It looks right, but it also has to make sense. Ask your child what would make sense in this sentence.
That's a very brief explanation of these strategies, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what you can do to help your beginning (or any level) reader. Just remind your child what is being read has to always, look right, sound right, and make sense.
Check back next week and I'll have some more strategies for when you child comes to a word and just sits there. Sound familiar? There are several strategies you can teach your child to use when he/she doesn't know a word.
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