- It never gets old: read to your child. Some parents think that reading aloud to your kids stops as they get older, but it doesn’t!
- Make sure you include non-fiction texts in your read alouds. These texts are harder for young readers to comprehend in general as they have specific vocabulary and unfamiliar text features and structures. Look under Comprehension for assistance in this area.
As you read aloud, model things such as:
- Going back and correcting your mistakes when it didn’t make sense
- Monitoring comprehension: “Boy, I wasn’t paying attention when I read that, so I don’t remember what it said. I’m going to go back and read it again.”
- Various comprehension strategies (see the comprehension strategies- listed under Comprehension)
- As with any stage, children need to be reading texts that are on their level. Children should be reading 98% or more of the words correctly for it to be considered something they can read alone. If they are reading with you, 90% or more of the words should be on their level. Otherwise, frustration can set in and comprehension can be compromised.
- Re-read texts for fluency. It gets trickier in this stage because he’s not reading those little readers anymore. The text is longer. So you have to get creative! Give him authentic reasons to re-read such as reading the directions to a game. Sometimes it helps to have directions read again to help you play it correctly. Put on a play, maybe with some other families. Your child will need to practice reading the part so he has it memorized or at least sounds fluent in his reading.
- Help your child “think about her thinking” (metacognition) as she reads. If she predicts something will happen in a text, ask her “What makes you think that?” Have her explain her thoughts so you can help her understand what strategies she’s using. Check out the Reading Comprehension Flyer I prepared for parents. It may give you some practical ways to enhance comprehension at home.
- In this stage, a child’s ability to recognize words automatically begins to soar. Give them authentic reasons to read: menu, grocery list, magazine article, a pen pal, etc.
Word Study: (I use Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Within Word Pattern Spellers)
- Silent e words (compare silent e patterns-hope with short vowel patterns-hop)
- Other long vowel patterns- ai, ay, ea, ee, oa, etc.
- r-influenced words (words that have ar, er, ir, or, and ur)
- “other vowel” combinations (au, aw, ew, oi, oy, etc.)