How can I help my child solve words while reading?
In class we
practice word solving strategies that we put to use each time we find
an unknown word. These strategies are easy to reinforce at home. Here
is a list of some of the strategies we use in 1KH:
*Picture Clues--The pictures provide important clues for early readers. Encourage your child to solve words by "cross checking". Use the picture clues combined with the beginning sound of the word to figure out what it might be.
*Puzzle Pieces and Word Chunks--Ask your child, "Is there a part of this tricky word that you already know?" Help him/her look for word chunks that we've learned from our spelling lists, the "ing", etc.
*Leapfrog--A great strategy for learning to use context clues! Simply skip the tricky word, read to the end of the sentence, and then go back to the beginning to try again. Ask, "Now that you've read more, what would make sense?"
How can I help my child with reading comprehension?
Talk with your child about the idea that reading is not just reading words, but also understanding what those words are telling you. Children need to be able to gain meaning from both fiction and non-fiction texts. These are some of the comprehension strategies that we're working on in class:
*Activating Background Knowledge--When reading a book for the first time, encourage your child to think about what he/she already knows about the topic. Also, page through the book and look at the pictures before reading to help your student get ideas about the story. We call this a "picture walk".
*Make connections--During and after reading, ask your child if he/she can make any connections to the story (text to self, text to text, text to world). How does the story relate to your own life and experiences?
*Visualize--Create a "movie in your mind" as you read. Can you picture what the author's words are saying?
*Make an inference--Can you use clues from the book to get ideas and make predictions? Can you infer how the character is feeling or what happened even if the author doesn't explicitly tell you?
Also, ask your child these types of questions after reading:
*What was the character's problem? Was it solved? How?
*Can you retell the main ideas from the beginning, middle, end of the story?
*Check for understanding--after a page or two, ask, "Who was on that page? What happened on that page?"