Teaching Tools for Reading

chalkboard portrait

As I mentioned in my post, Alphabet Books Are Awesome, I find reading to be a very important yet difficult skill to learn and master.  It actually involves several areas of the brain to work together.  I know it was intimidating for me as a child so I was determined to introduce reading to my children in the least threatening way possible.  It goes without saying that reading to your children everyday is important but I also find it is important for them to be actively participating and engaged.

So far my efforts have been effected so I thought I would share some of my ideas and tools.

  • Have your child choose the book (or if you are less than jazzed about their taste, how about they choose one and you choose one).
  • Pause after the words on each page to comment on the illustration or asked your child a question about the story.
  • Read books that rhyme multiple time and let your child complete the rhyme.
  • Get magnet letters for you fridge to play with together.
  • Have your children watch Super Why, a great show on PBS which teaches some reading basics.
  • Get some rebus books for you to read together.  In place of some of the words are pictures which you can have your child “read”.  I found a great series called All Aboard Reading, Picture Readers.
  • Once you are ready to actively start teaching reading, Bob Books are by far the best series to start with that I have seen.  We were introduce to these by my children’s preschool.  They are 12 page mini books that come in sets of about 12.  In Bob Books Set 1: Beginning Readers each book tells an actual story with three letter words starting with only a handful of letters that can all be sounded out. Initially I was skeptical because of the somewhat primitive illustrations but my daughter found them funny and she got so much satisfaction out of successfully reading each book by herself!
  • I also write “mystery sentences” on a chalk board easel (that we got at Ikea for 15 dollars!) and help them sound it out.  Sometimes I write about what we are having for dessert or about a fun weekend activity coming up.
Every child is different and somethings will work for some and not other which is also why it is great to get a head-start at home before they enter the one-size-fits-all classroom.  I hope you find this list helpful and please share any ideas and tools you like!

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