Good Readers Practice Everyday

“Does that make sense?”  “What is happening in the story?”  “Re-read the sentence and look for clues.”  “Check the picture.”  These questions/statements and many others are used to check students’ understanding of letters, words or meaning of a story.  Improving reading skills is a focus at Clinton.  We are giving special attention to increasing the efficiency of guided reading time.  During guided reading, teachers work with small groups of students.  They listen to individual students’ reading, ask questions, and provide specific feedback.  In the primary grades it’s mostly about letter and word recognition, applying phonics skills to figure out unknown words, and fluency.  Later, in the intermediate grades, the emphasis turns to comprehension – understanding the meaning.

To become good readers, students need plenty of practice and repetitions.  It’s good to read new things but it’s also beneficial to have students re-reading familiar books and stories as well.  As you listen to your child read at home, you may want to watch for the following:

Beginning readers –

  • Reading left to right
  • Using letter sounds and other phonics skills to figure out unknown words
  • Pausing when coming to a period at the end of the sentence
  • Grouping together words so the reading sounds smooth
  • Using pictures to connect with the meaning of the story
  • Re-reading to figure out a new word or the story’s meaning

More experienced readers –

  • Follow the print with eyes, using finger only on points of difficulty (at places where it gets tricky)
  • Recognize most new words independently
  • Can read rapidly and pay attention to punctuation
  • Re-read a sentence or page when something doesn’t make sense
  • Can think about what happens in the story and pay attention to details

Thank you for encouraging reading at home.  Please let us know if you have questions about how to best support your child’s reading efforts.