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Supporting Your Child's Reading at Home

Supporting Your Child’s Reading at Home

Third Grade: Recommendation 4: Reading for Understanding

Support your child in reading accurately, at a conversational pace, and with expression so they understand what they read.

Accurate and Efficient Word Identification

word identification

As your child practices reading out loud, it is important to help him or her to read words correctly and quickly. When children can read words accurately and fairly quickly, they can focus their attention on understanding what they are reading instead of trying to identify each word.

There are two important things families can do to help their child read words correctly and quickly.

  1. Read out loud to your child every single day! Reading to your child can be a special time to spend together. It will show him or her that reading is important and fun! Reading aloud will help your child understand what reading should sound like, and provides a model of how to read words correctly, quickly, and with expression! Reading with the right expression means that you are talking like the characters in the book--your voice sounds excited when the character is excited or sad when the character is sad.
  2. Encourage and help your child as he or she reads out loud. You may need to help your child when she or he comes to a word that is difficult to read. You might provide a reminder by saying, "Let's say each part of this word and the put the parts together to read it." Any reminder that encourages your child to use what he or she already knows to figure out the word can be helpful.

As you read with your child, remember to be patient as reading is a skill that takes a lot of practice. Be sure to let your child know that you are proud of his or her progress! The support and encouragement you give your child will help him or her improve in reading.

When choosing books for your child to read out loud, select books that are of interest to your child, are not too easy or too hard, and are linked to his or her experiences or concerns. For instance, if your child is interested in animals or is afraid of the dark, it can be helpful to select books on those topics.

When You Read to Me (Dingoes at Dinnertime)

Key Points About the Video

  • Mom provides hints on how to read unfamiliar words so her daughter can use the letter-sounds and the sound-spelling patterns she knows to read unfamiliar words (wasted, precious, whirlwind).
  • Mom models reading words correctly.
  • Mom has her daughter reread sentences that are challenging for extra practice.

When I Read to You (Because of Winn Dixie)

Key Points About the Video

  • Mom reads words correctly, at a conversational pace, and with great expression!
  • Mom asks questions once in a while to make sure her daughter understands the story.

When I Read to You, When You Read to Me Bookmark
On one side of this bookmark are tips to use as you read out loud to your child. On the other side are tips for when your child reads out loud to you.

Books to Share

A list of suggested books that you can read to your child to model reading words correctly, at a conversational pace, and with expression. Although you can do these things with anything you read with your child.

  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  • How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Recognizing Misread Words and Correcting Errors

correcting errors

Experienced readers know when their reading does not make sense because they have misread a word. Once they realize they misread a word, experienced readers can correct their mistake. Beginning readers don't always notice when they misread a word because they don't always pay attention to what they are reading. Therefore, it is important to show children how to recognize misread words when they read. A reader should think about what he or she is reading and decide whether it makes sense or not, that is, self-monitor. We also need to show children how to self-correct when they misread a word. Improving the ability to self-monitor and self-correct will help children understand what they read and become better readers.

Families can help children monitor what they read and make corrections when words are misread. As you read to your child, you can provide examples of how to recognize when words are misread by "thinking out loud." You can say things like, "That didn't make sense. I'm going to read that sentence again." When your child reads to you and misreads a word, ask her to stop and see if she can correct the error. If not, reread the sentence with the missed word exactly how your child read it and ask, "Did that make sense?" If your child does not self-correct, read the word and have her reread it. Then have her read the sentence correctly.

Self-Monitor Understanding and Self-Correct Word-Reading Errors (Goldie)

Key Points About the Video

  • Mom asks her son questions about the topic of the book and to make a prediction before reading.
  • Mom praises son for self-correcting words that he misreads.
  • Mom asks questions to help her son summarize what he read to make sure he understood what he read.

Monitoring for Understanding Bookmark
On one side of this bookmark are questions your child can ask him or herself before, during, and after reading. On the other side of the bookmark are tips your child can use make sure he or she understands what is being read.

Books to Share

A list of suggested books for your child to read out loud to you while you help your child recognize and correct misread words.

  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
  • The Puppy Place (Series) by Ellen Miles
  • The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Step-Into-Reading Series) by Natalie Standiford
  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

Oral Reading Practice

oral reading practice

Oral reading practice is when children read out loud. It is very important that children in third grade have many opportunities for oral reading practice with a proficient reader that listens and offers help when needed. As children read out loud, they get better at reading words correctly, quickly, and with the right expression (fluently). Reading words quickly means reading them at the same pace in which we talk. When you read with the right expression, you understand what commas, periods, and question marks mean. Reading with expression shows that you understand what you read when you, for example, change your voice to be excited when a character is excited. When children read fluently, they can focus their attention on understanding what they read, rather than trying to figure out how to read the words. The more children practice reading out loud with support, the better readers they will become!

There are many ways to support your child in oral reading practice. You can alternate reading and read together.

  1. Alternated reading is when you and your child take turns reading a paragraph, page, or chapter out loud. You child continues reading, picking up where you left off.
  2. Reading together means you and your child read the same thing out loud at the same time. When you read at the same time, make sure your child follows along by pointing to each word. You can slow your pace of reading down a little when you read at the same time. Always offer positive encouragement and let your child know how proud you are because he or she is practicing reading.

The encouragement and support children receive as they read out loud will help them become more fluent and confident readers. Be patient as children learn to read and remind them often of how proud you are of them for practicing reading.

Practice Reading Out Loud

Key Points About the Video

  • Mom explains what a prologue is (an introduction to the book that tells what happened before chapter 1).
  • Mom and son take turns reading so Mom can model fluent reading (reading correctly, at a conversational pace, and with expression).
  • Mom provides her son tips on how to read with expression by reminding him what to do at periods, question marks, and explanation marks.

Practice Reading Out Loud Bookmark
Use this bookmark as a reminder of the importance of reading every day with your child. One side of the bookmark describes Alternated Reading and the other side describes Reading Together.

Books to Share

A list of suggested books for your child to read out loud as you use Alternated Reading and Reading Together.

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends (poems) by Shel Silverstein
  • Punctuation Celebration by Elsa Knight Bruno
  • You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

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