Read and Re-read familiar stories.
Include your child in conversations. This increases their vocabulary and their knowledge of how the language is put together.
Pair read with your child. This allows for them to read a book they are interested in BUT might be challenging for their grade level reading ability. YOU DON’T want them to miss out. Pair reading means that you and your child read the words “simultaneously”. You don’t say the word and then have them echo it, but rather have them say the word “with” you. It takes practice to minimize echoing. To help your child, have them point to each word as you go. As they get proficient and start to read the words before you, set up a signal for them to use, such as raising a finger or tapping the page with a finger, to let you know they want to read out loud themselves. When they come to a point of struggle just simply come back in reading simultaneously with them until they signal again.
For first grade reading books, do picture walks first. Cover up the words on a page and ask your child to describe what they think is happening on that page. Tell them, “as we read we will check and see if your predictions are correct.”
Help your child develop a large “sight word” vocabulary. Most of the text we read is majority sight words. These are words that we recognize instantly and do not ‘sound them out.’ Many do not “play fair by our sound rules” [Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes® [http://www.lindamoodbell.com/] which means we just “have to know them” when we see them. Most commonly used are the Fry’s list http://makereadingfirst.com/word_list.pdf and Dolch list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolch_word_list which can be found on many online sites for downloading.
If they stumble on a word they are reading: HELP THEM SOLVE THE PUZZLE- DON’T RUSH TO JUST GIVE THEM THE WORD!
- ask them to get their mouth ready to say the first sound, then the second, then the third. Blend the sounds together to say the word.
- Let them use picture cues
- Skip the word and read to the end of the sentence, then come back to the word. Many times ‘context’ from the whole sentence will help identify the word for them.
- Question to the point of error (Socratic method). Say, “ I see ‘b’** but heard ‘p’** in this word.” **THE CORRECT WAY TO DO THIS IS TO SAY THE ‘SOUND’ for the letter AND NOT NAME THE LETTER SYMBOL(s) in the word! Then say, “Let’s look at this again.” This is more challenging for parents because YOU have to be familiar with the correct sounds for letter symbols and letter patterns.
Hope these tips are of help for you and your child with their first grade reading!