Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teaching Tips for Early Readers

There’s nothing quite like seeing a child’s eyes light up with joy because they’ve finally read their first word. Having fun with language is the key you need to unlock the world of reading to your child. The following are tips for hooking kids on reading. Try them and see what works for you and your child.

1. Make reading a habit. Give your child lots of opportunities to read. Bring a book with you wherever you go. They can read in the car, or waiting in the doctor’s office.

2. Play a rhyming game with a puppet. Have the puppet say, “My name is Mark. Can you find words that rhyme with Mark?” If the answer is yes, jump up and down, and if the answer is no, squat down low. “Does park rhyme with Mark? Does ball rhyme with Mark?”

3. Trace and say letter sounds. Involving the senses of touch, sight, and speech is a powerful tool for learning letter sounds. Use a finger to trace a letter while saying the letter sound. Do this on a paper, in a sandbox, or on a plate filled with sugar.

4. Play sound matching games. Using a set of alphabet letters, have your child pick the letter that matches the sound you make. Start with five letters and add more letters when your child is ready.

5. Pick books that are the right difficulty level for your child. The aim is to give your child many successful reading experiences. Have fiction and non-fiction books available. Dig deep into the meaning of books. Ask comprehension questionsd.

6. Have your child watch your lips to see how you make certain sounds. You can ask, “Can you see my tongue touch my teeth when I say (th)? Does it tickle your tongue?”

7. Play sight word concentration games. Make two sets of common sight words, and have them hunt for pairs. If they can read the word, it goes in their pile.

8. Point out words all around the town. (traffic signs, grocery signs, advertising signs)

9. Gently correct your young reader.

10. Say silly tongue twisters, sing songs and say rhymes. This will help kids become sensitive to sounds in words.

Keep reading fun! With activities like these you can inspire your child to practice every day. The more kids see and work with words, the more they are able to effortlessly decode them. Be patient and encourage them. This will give them the desire and confidence to continue to learn, and soon they will be hooked on reading.

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