Resources to Refine and Enhance Reading for Elementary Students

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Navigating the new normal school expectations is challenging and we are here for you to ensure your child’s success. Reading is a vital skill and it may feel discouraging to have limited access to a teacher or face-to-face instruction. Reassuringly, having examples at home impacts more of a child’s reading abilities than a teacher.

As a former teacher and initially certified and experienced in teaching elementary English Language Arts and Reading, I excitedly share my love of reading, resources and skills that I have found as essentials for promoting reading in elementary aged students. Check out below:

Model:

The love of reading is transmitted to students through role models.

  • Expose your children by creating an environment where you can build up an area dedicated to literacy. Connect reading with real-world concepts by pointing out opportunities to read grocery lists, maps, shopping sales, cooking recipes or road signs.
  • Make learning to read engaging by showing how reading is integrated into regular life.
  • Be creative to plan a special outing to the bookstore or include a regular routine time set aside to read together or where you each individually read fiction or nonfiction pieces specific to your own interests.

B.D.A- Before, During and After reading key elements:

Here is the secret insight to a teacher’s world of the key three letter acronyms to follow for improving literacy in students. It only makes sense that parents are privy to this knowledge as well so there will be consistency in and out of the home in regards to reading strategies.

  • Before: Expose and pick a variety of books with your child. Activate their prior knowledge and ask questions or do a picture walk before reading a story to predict what they think will happen. Recognize the difference between phonics (individual letter sounds) and phonemes (sounds that create words). Elkonin boxes are such a useful tool for pulling apart and combining new and difficult words for learning readers.

  • DuringMirror the model step and think aloud as you read on things you notice, predictions or questions you have. Relate the characters or situations of the story to your life. Point out and wonder about unfamiliar vocabulary words. Your child will learn good reading habits from you.

  • After: Have your child retell what they learned in a different way to show understanding by creating a story map, perform a play or song, rate or create an alternate ending in regards to the story.

Fluency:

Fluency is defined as accuracy of sounds, blending or segmenting sounds and speed rate of reading words with particular tones and ease. Build up to reading comprehension of a story by remembering to aid your child’s acquisition of decoding skills. Focusing on fluency is a key component for a student to demonstrate first in order to understand the context and meaning of the story faster. As a parent you can read with your child every day, re-read their favorite books, video or audio record yourselves reading to practice confidence and eventually gain mastery of familiar sounds and words.

Amplify with Games:

Both parents and children win when learning is amplified with interactive and engaging games that facilitate learning at the same time! Check out your local education store, some of my personal favorite blogs that have free resources and printouts for reading games. With this tech-savvy world, turn to educational websites that include proven games and apps for improving reading in students that teachers love to use as well.

Mylinh Vo

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