Learning to read is a huge part of both 2nd and 3rd grade.  I teach all of the reading cueing systems so your child has a toolbox full of strategies available to them.  Many strategies are listed below for your use at home.  Knowing which strategy to use at what time is a matter of practice and repeated application.  Often times we are using more than one strategy out of necessity.   The website Into the Book has several videos about some important reading strategies you can use with your child.  You may want to check it out.

Child psychologists have linked bedtime reading routines to increased vocabulary and cognitive functions and my team at Tuck created a new guide to help increase awareness. Tuck is a website with information and links to online stories to share with multiple age groups. 

Reading fluency is not simply just the rate of your reading. It has to do with prosody, intonation, and ultimately aids comprehension.  A lack of fluency may relate to poor decoding skills, a lack of consistent practice, or difficulty determining the difference between sight words and decodable words. If you're curious to know more about fluency and how to improve it, check out this website

Please look over the document below.  It compares effective readers on the left, with less effective readers on the right.  As you read with your child, ask yourself if your child is doing all of the things that effective readers do.  If you see something your child isn't doing, take the time to work on that particular reading strategy with them. 

I like to equate the strategies in class we use in terms of objects and tools found in our READING TOOLBOX.     Look at the strategies below and you'll recognize many of the things described in the document above.  (My thanks to Laura, Lisa, and Karen for sharing their Reading Toolbox cognate project with my classmates and I at Sonoma State University.  Credit for this idea definitely goes to all of them.)

These three tools are primarily used during the reading process.

The first tool is like a rubber bouncy ball, for bouncing back when things don't make sense

The second tool(s)  are two set of glasses.  We make a choice as to how we read something depending on if we're looking for information, or whether we're simply reading something for fun and enjoyment.

The third tool is a paintbrush.   We visualize a story in our heads as we read to create mind movies.

If we think of the crystal ball, our minds go to the future and the unknown.This is the next tool in our READING TOOLKIT.  Making, confirming, and altering our predictions is something proficient readers do all the time.  It's something emergent and early readers need to practice.  They especially need practice monitoring whether their predictions are confirmed, or if they need to alter their predictions after they've begun reading.

Another great strategy can be equated with a magnifying glass.  Looking for clues, looking closer at a word rather than a quick glance, and reading past a word to use contextual clues to figure out what kind of word (part of speech) and what word might work there can get someone through a text while maintaining meaning.

The third tool shown below is linker cubes.  They're used for math, but they connect together like LEGOs.  When we're reading, we want to be able to connect the ideas or situations in a book to things in the world we know about (schema), our lives and personal experiences, and to other books, movies, or folk tales we may already know.  All these things are interconnected in our minds, and the connections linker cubes make can be related to these connections easily.

reading with your child.doc

A  set of paintbrushes can also be used to remind readers that the pictures shown in a book give us visual clues that relate to the words on the page.  This is why doing a picture walk, a preview of a picture book, is so important to early readers.  They get a sense of what happens in the story prior to taking on the task of reading the text.  It gives them the extra information they need to look for key words they SEE in the pictures.

The conch shell is something we all relate to when we think of hearing, especially the sea.  As children become better monitors of their own reading, they can ask themselves, "Did the word I just said SOUND right?"  If it didn't, one thing to try is the other sound one of the vowels makes in the word.  (ex.  Looking for chunks/digraphs/blends is another important piece of the sound of words.  It may be worth keeping paper and pencil handy to write down which word(s) your child stumbles upon while they're reading.  Be cautious not to interrupt their reading, but bring them back at the end of the page, or the story depending on how many miscues they're making.  Look for a pattern with regard to vowel mispronunciation, repeatedly missing a blend like /sh/ /tr/ /cl/ /sw/, or some other such combination.  There is a list of digraphs and phonograms if you click the link near the bottom of this page. 

Lastly, a map is what we use when we're lost.  If we're really lost, we'll ask questions.  There's nothing wrong with getting lost when we read, so long as we can find where we began to lose the meaning of the text.  Use these tools/strategies with your child to help them become effective and proficient readers.

As students become proficient readers, they need a series of additional strategies that will help them well into their college education and beyond. This article link goes in depth about what those strategies are, and how to employ them as a reader.  This is a great article to read as you become a proficient reader. 
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