Reading is a two-part process:
1) Decoding - figuring out what the letters and words say
2) Comprehending - figuring out what the words mean.
Students entering 5th Grade are expected to have decoding down. Students concentrate on comprehension from 5th Grade on. If your child struggles with reading, please have him/her practice DAILY using the resources under Decoding.
Class Code: BTUXDN
If your child still needs help with decoding, use the Sight Word and Sight Phrases PowerPoints below (one or more a day) to help with reading fluency.
Each PowerPoint has about 100 High Frequency words.
Have your child read the words out loud. You could make a chart that tracks the time it takes your child to read through an entire PowerPoint to see progress over time.
To be read out loud. Again, these could be timed and tracked.
Learning to spell helps with decoding. Playing spelling games can help students generate interest and success in spelling skills.
There are several reading strategies that can be taught to struggling readers. What works for one child might not work so well for another. There are no "cookie cutter" children. These strategies need to be taught explicitly (directly) so the child knows what to do. Focus on only one strategy per week. (All of these are taught to students at CRE.) Here are the strategies that have been proven to help most struggling comprehenders:
1) MOTIVATION - Find reading material that interests you. Hey, if it's boring, look for something else.
2) MAKE CONNECTIONS - Help your child make connections between what is being read to something that happened in his/her life.
3) VISUALIZING - Create pictures in your mind of what you are reading. Think of the five senses to help you imagine the story: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste.
4) PREDICTING - Read a little, then ask, "What do you think is going to happen next?" or "What if...."
5) QUESTIONING - After reading a bit, come up with a question or two you have about what was read or what you didn't understand (content or vocabulary).
6) MODELING - Read aloud to your child while s/he follows along. Show how a good reader is fluent, yet pauses for commas, stops for periods, and uses expression for exclamation marks. Stop at times and ask your child what a word means. You may be surprised when you see that your child doesn't know the meanings of many words that seem very obvious to you. One game I played with my own struggling reader children was "Catch Me If You Can." I would read aloud while my child read the same words silently. I would purposely say a wrong word, for example if the text said "ran" I might say "jogged." If my child caught me and said the correct word, s/he got a point. After so many points a reward was earned.
7) RETELLING - Stop often (every page or two) and try to retell what you just read.