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Reading at HomeThree-ways for your child to Read Independently using Read-to-Self or Read-to-Someone:

1. Look at the pictures (Engage with the text: make comments, notice non-fiction features, tell the story using the pictures, ask questions, make noticings. This is not just for flipping through the pages at rapid speed:) This works well with non-fiction &/or high-interest books!

2. Read the words (books that are at your child's instructional-independent level in which they can read 95% or more of the words)

3. Retell the story (favorites that the child knows well and can use the pictures &/or words to retell the story)


Decoding strategies that support accuracy:
Eagle Eye: Use the picture to help you figure out the word.
Lips the Fish: Get you mouth ready to say the first sound in the word.
Chunky Monkey: Find a chunk(s) in the word that you already know.
Stretchy Snake: Stretch out all of the sounds in the word and then put them all together.
Trying Lion: Try a word that makes sense in the sentence.
Skippy Frog: Skip the word and read on. Come back to the word to see what makes sense.
Helpful Kangaroo: After using all of the above strategies, ask for help.


Reading Ideas to Incorporate into Your Daily Schedule:
  • Place books in places your child will be (toy box, beside bed, kitchen, living room, car). You can even organize them by themes for their location (cookbooks in kitchen, bedtime stories by bed, etc.)
  • Carry books along to appointments or on road trips.
  • Put books beside the bathtub that can withstand getting wet.
  • Get books on tape or CD to listen to in the car or any other time.
  • Read everyday for practical purposes (grocery list, errand list, recipes, road signs, etc.)


Ways to Help your Child Develop a love of Reading:
  • Read several books around one topic.
  • Read several books by one author.
  • Read several books in one genre (non-fiction, poetry, fairy tales, realistic fiction, historical fiction, plays, etc.)
  • Read to someone/ partner read.
  • Read to a sibling.
  • Read the same book and focus on learning/ talking about something new.
  • Make the reading environment pleasurable (cozy chair, special snack, plants, stuffed animals)
  • Encourage different types of reading materials (newspapers, magazines, appropriate/ child-friendly websites)
  • Visit the library often.
  • Visit a favorite author's website or go to a book signing.
  • Rotate books in your child's personal library based on interest or current events (bringing new books out and putting other books away is exciting for children and keeps their library fresh).


Some Ways to Read with Your Child:
  1. Echo Reading: Parent reads one line at a time while pointing to words and child echoes same line back, pointing to words.
  2. Choral Reading: Parent & child read aloud in unison, either or both can point to words.
  3. Popcorn Reading: Child reads until she comes to a word she doesn't know or until she decides to switch readers and then the parent reads, and the cycle continues.
  4. Storytelling: The parent reads the story to the child. Parent stops periodically to discuss events happening. Then the child retells the story with prompts.
  5. Reader's Theater: The parent & child take on the roles of the characters in the story and read their parts. This works best with texts heavy in dialogue.
  6. Chanting: The parent & child chant in unison stories, parts of stories, or poems which lend themselves to reading with rhythm.


Ways to Help Your Child Become a Better Reader:
  • Read More!!! - Make reading fun, read together everyday, notice what your child is doing well, and let your child see you reading.
  • Ask questions before, during & after reading (see below for examples)
  • Make predictions during reading.
  • Point to the words with your "Reading Finger"
  • Visualize and create sensory images.
  • Monitor comprehension & use the decoding strategies above for miscues (Does that make sense? Do the letters match the sound? Is there another word that would work better?)
  • Determine what is important in text (main ideas, key words, themes & patterns)
  • Retell the story (characters, setting, problem/ solution, details or events, conclusion)


Questions to Use:
Before Reading
  • What do you think this book will be about?
  • What do you think will happen to the character on the cover?
  • What does the title mean?
  • Why do you think the author chose that title?

During Reading
  • Why does (character) look ?
  • What is (character) looking for, doing?
  • What does (vocabulary word) mean?
  • Where is (character) going? Why?
  • Why is the word (vocabulary) in bold, italicized?

After Reading
  • What was the title and who was the author of the book?
  • Who are the characters?
  • Name the main character in the story? How do you know?
  • What is the setting of the story (where does the story take place)?
  • Re-tell three important events in the story.
  • What is the problem in the story? How did it get solved?
  • How did the other characters help the main character?
  • Is this book fiction or non-fiction? How can you tell?
  • What are some of the non-fiction features in the book (table of contents, real photographs, bold/ italicized words, glossary, captions, How-to, parts of/ labels).
  • How do the non-fiction features help you as a reader?
  • What connections can you make and how does that help you understand this book? (Specify text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world)
  • If you were this author, what parts would you change and why?
  • What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
  • Would you recommend this book to a friend? Tell why or why not using details and examples.

*Not all questions will apply to every book, so select a few each time your child reads for a quality comprehension focus*