Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do to help my child become a reader?
Read, Read, Read!!! Make reading at home an enjoyable experience for your child. Set aside a time each day to read aloud to your child. Visit the library to have your child find books that interest them. Let your child see you enjoying reading. Talk about the books you read together. Praise your child's efforts as he or she begins to read and offer much support and guidance as your child begins to learn how to read. Please visit the other parts of this website for links to reading games your child can play on the computer and lists of other reading activities you can do at home.
What should I do when my child is stuck on a word?
Your beginning reader is learning to use multiple strategies to figure out unknown words. If your child is having difficulty figuring out a word, you might say:
1. Can the picture give you a clue?
2. Look at the first letter of the word. Can you think of a word that begins with that letter and would make sense in the sentence?
3. What word would make sense there? Does that look right?
4. Do you see any little words or chunks inside that word that you know (for instance, -at in the word cat)?
5. Blend the sounds together.
6. Let's skip that word and then go back and try it again.Reading at home should not be a frustrating experience for you or your child! Please encourage your child to attempt to read a word first, but there's nothing wrong with simply telling your child a word if he or she is becoming frustrated!
What is the difference between my child's independent and instructional reading levels?
An independent reading level is the level at which a child can read a text on his/her own with ease. The child makes hardly any errors when reading the text and has excellent comprehension of the story. The child can read the story alone with confidence. It is important for children to have the opportunity to read many books at their independent reading level in order to improve their fluency, boost their confidence, and foster a love for reading.
An instructional reading level is the level at which a child needs the support of a teacher, parent, or tutor. This is the level where students are introduced to new vocabulary and is where the greatest progress in reading occurs. Children are reading with 90-95 percent accuracy or better and possess at least 80 percent comprehension on simple recall questions about the story.
A text is at a student's frustration or hard reading level if he or she is reading with less than 90% accuracy. Students who are beginning to learn to read should have very few experiences reading materials that are frustrating for them.
The books that your child will be bringing home will be at his or her instructional or independent reading levels so that reading at home is enjoyable and it allows him or her to practice the reading strategies they have learned.