Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Can I Do to Help My Child Learn to Read? Part 3

I have already discussed Phonemic Awareness and Phonics in previous posts, two areas that need to be addressed when teaching children to read. However, a child must also acquire reading Fluency in order to become a successful reader.

What exactly is Fluency?
Fluency is the ability to read accurately and quickly. A fluent reader can look at words, know how to read them, and comprehend the meaning, all at the same time. Fluency is important because it allows children to focus on the meaning of a word instead of trying to decode it.

How can I help my child become a fluent reader?
In order to become fluent readers, children must first learn what a good reader sounds like. When children hear good models reading fluently, they learn by example. Children should also read and reread a book or a story several times until they can do so fluently using correct expression, pronunciation, tone, and pauses. This usually occurs after the third or fourth reading.

In just 20 minutes, your child can practice reading fluently by watching our Itsy Bitsy Spider video and reading along with the companion minibook. Just click on the link and print it out, it’s free!

1. Print out the Itsy Bitsy Spider book by clicking on this link: Itsy Bitsy Spider Minibook. You can print the pages in full color or black and white.
2. Cut on the dotted lines.
3. Stack the pages in order, from page 1 to page 6.
4. Staple the pages on the left hand side.
5. Now, watch the Itsy Bitsy Spider video with your child and read along with the book.
6. Have your child read the book out loud a few times. Make sure he’s reading with correct pauses, expression, pronunciation, tone, etc.

At the end of this activity your child’s level of fluency will have increased, and he’ll be one step closer to becoming a great reader.

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