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Reading Strategies for Your Kids

Updated on October 15, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

Bachelor's degree in English. Middle school language arts teacher with over 20 years experience with a specialty in reading.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. | Source
GNU Free Documentation License
GNU Free Documentation License | Source

How to make your child read better

How to make your child a better reader is by anyone's account a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

One of the many professions in which I have had the privilege of being involved was teaching middle school children how to read better.

It doesn't take much to improve a child's reading. Here are some suggestions and techniques which have proven useful over the years in my public school teaching career which I collected and helped develop after being asked by many a parent how to make my child read better.

You will need the following: A book, article etc. Highlighter, Yourself and off course a child and follow all or most of these children reading strategies.

Don't make reading a chore, instead make it a game or offer a reward such as going to their favorite restaurant, extra play time, going to the movies etc. Ask them to identify a synonym.antonym for some words, use the words in a sentence, make the sentence into an affirmation and then a question.Choose more complex words than the previous ones every month.

Let them know that reading can be just for fun, to learn something, or because it is needed for a particular purpose (they'll realize the last one when they are older).

Choose a quiet reading spot, make some snacks, allow criticisms, allow an interruptions to the reading if the child feels it is important and relates to the reading material and read with them. If they see you do it they feel that it is a family sharing activity and not just a chore for them.

Reading Techniques(strategies):

Look X 3: Have your child look at all of the pictures, drawings, photos ,illustrations (if there is a picture, illustration of a horse then the horse will probably play an important part in the story). Read the introduction and then the conclusion. Now the child has a pretty good idea of what the story is about ,this is an excellent technique for test taking such as the F.C.A.T (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test).

Character Identification: Have your child underline the name of each character in the story. Each time the name is mentioned in a questions, the child has a reference point of where to look.

Events: Have the child highlight any words that denote times, places, days, years minutes, such as yesterday, tomorrow, today, now, before, after,12:00 o'clock etc. If it says when, where, what, or who, highlight it.

Prediction: Have your child predict the outcome, next series of events, "what happens next", and verify if their predictions hold true.

Motive: Identify or guess what a character's reasons for doing things are, especially main characters.

Actions: Identify if a character's acts are "good" or "bad".

Others: Read to your child for at least 30 minutes per day or every other day, ask them questions, have them spell words.

Ask the teacher if your child can be paired or grouped with same level readers to eliminate the "embarrassment factor" alternative is to ask the teacher if your child can be grouped with same level readers plus some higher level readers. Kids will normally "teach others" and kids will learn through modeling behavior.

These techniques with some practice and the right motivation can lead to an increase in your child's reading abilities. I taught a class of Level 1 & 2 F.C.A.T readers these techniques and within 4- 6 months over 56% of them had reached Levels 3 or higher (3 being the minimum F.C.A.T passing level).

I made it a point to allow the kids to choose what they wanted to read,what was interesting to them, therefore vesting them in their reading. And I made sure that they had fun while reading.

Children reading strategies are not new but when put into practice and with some patience can result in improved reading skills of your children.

Help your child be a better reader

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. | Source

Another very useful technique is the Close System. Your child should follow these steps;

1. What is the author's purpose (reading for understanding)

2. Read slowly

3. Underline any words that you do not know and define them

4. Underline any portions that you find interesting

5. Underline in different colors verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs

6. Predict what happens next as you read

7. What is your opinion about the reading, the characters, the plot and anything else you find interesting

8. Does the story have any connection with your personal experiences, any movies or any books that you have read before?

9. Do you have any questions about the reading?

10. What are the key themes in the reading?

These are not all the techniques but are pretty much the basics.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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