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Reading Concepts

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Fluency

What is it?

Fluency is the ability to read text accurately, automatically, and effortlessly, using appropriate expression and phrasing.

Fluency sounds like natural speech.  Fluency helps the reader understand what they are reading.

Why is it important?

If a child is not fluent, it means that he or she is focusing primarily on figuring out (decoding) the words, and that makes it difficult for the child to understand and remember what has been read.

What can we do at home?

Repeated reading - Choose a story, a short chapter, or even a page that is not very difficult. Read the passage aloud to your child, and then read the passage together, helping your child figure out any tricky words. Next, have your child read the passage to you, focusing on accuracy. Finally, have your child read the passage to you again several more times paying attention to fluency and expression. The goal is to sound smooth and natural, like speaking. 

Use different voices- When reading a familiar story or passage, try having your child use different voices. Read the story in a mouse voice or a cowboy voice or a monster voice or a princess voice. This is just a variation on repeated readings designed to add interest and a sense of fun to reading practice. 

Read to different audiences- Although a young reader may not think of it this way, reading aloud is really just a way to communicate to an audience. When a reader keeps the audience in mind, he/she knows that the reading must be fluent and expressive. Provide a variety of opportunities for your child to read to an audience. Your child can read to stuffed animals, pets, siblings, neighbors, grandparents - anyone who is willing to listen. For example, an out of town relative can easily share a book with the child over the phone if your child and the relative have both checked the same book out from the library. Additionally, there are even books that are specially written to be read to a pet, such as Three Stories You Can Read to Your Dog.

Practice reading phrases- Once your child is comfortable with the high frequency words, try reading the Fry Sight Word Phrases. Click here to go to the Fry Sight Word Phrases. These lists were retrieved from http://www.timraskinski.com/presentations/fry_600_instant_phrases.pdf.

Record the reading - After your child has practiced a passage, have him/her record it with a tape player or MP3 device. Once recorded, your child can listen to his reading and follow along in the book. Many times, a child will want to rerecord the book and make it even better!

 

INFO found at: http://www.bluevalleyk12.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=61314&linkid=nav-menu-original-4-3165

 

Comprehension

What is it?

Comprehension is the ability to understand and interact with text.

Why is it important?

Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading. Authors write to be able to communicate with readers. Readers need to be able to actively interact with the author's words. Good comprehension leads to reading enjoyment. Reading enjoyment leads to more time spent reading. More time spent reading leads to better comprehension and so on...

What can we do at home?

Think aloud- Even though your child is now an independent reader, don't stop reading aloud! When you read aloud to your child, talk about what you are thinking. This gives your child a little glimpse into the mind of an adult reader. A good reader is always thinking, wondering, and questioning. For example, describe how you feel about what's going on in the book, what you think will happen next, or what you thought about a character's choice.

Know the Strategies that Your Child is Learning

1. Predicting - Predicting means using clues from the text and from your own knowledge to figure out what might happen next.

2. Inferring - Inferring means using clues from the text and from your own knowledge to figure out something that the author does not say directly, such as how a character is feeling or why the character chose to act a certain way. 

3. Questioning - Question means that, as a thoughtful reader, you are always asking questions about what you read as you are reading. For example, "Why did the author spend so much time describing the red umbrella? I wonder if that will be important later in the story."

4. Monitoring and Clarifying - Monitoring means making sure that you are understanding what you are reading. For example, we've all had the experience of reading to the end of the page and not remembering what we've read. When we realize that, we are monitoring our reading. Clarifying means clearing up any misunderstanding or lack of understanding. For example, if you didn't remember what you had read, you might choose to reread that page.

5. Retelling and Summarizing - Retelling means telling the story in your own words from beginning to end. A good retell usually includes characters, setting, problem, events, and solution. Summarizing is like giving a very short retell. in a summary, the reader includes only the most important details.

6. Visualizing - Visualizing means imagining the story or text in your head, like a picture or movie in your mind. Some readers are able to do this automatically, but others need coaching. for example, if the story is about children having a lemonade stand, you might picture the weather, how busy the street was, what type of neighborhood it is in, what the children are wearing, or how many people are gathered around. These are details that the author may not include, but they help the reader better understand the story and get that feeling of "being there" that really increases the reader's enjoyment of the story.

Reading fiction

1. Here are two strategies to use before beginning a fiction book. 

Predicting - Have your child look at the cover and the first page and make a prediction about what will happen in the story. Emphasize using clues from the story and from personal knowledge.

Questioning - Encourage your child to create a couple of questions that he/she would like the author to answer in the book. This gives your child a purpose or a goal for reading.

2. While reading, try these strategies.

Predicting - Stop at various points, particularly at the end or chapters or at very exciting points, and ask your child what do you think will happen next? Why?

Questioning - Keep encouraging questioning. Is the author answering your questions? Do you have new questions?

Inferring - Help your child think about the character's actions, words, and feelings. Does the author give any clues about why the character is acting certain way or how the character is feeling or why the character would say what he did? Have you ever had an experience like the character's?

Monitoring and Clarifying with a Retell/Summary - Stop every few pages or at the end of the chapter and ask your child to tell you what has happened so far in the story. If he/she can do this, continue on with the story. If he/she cannot, try going back and rereading the chapter or pages together to figure out where the misunderstanding took place.

Visualizing - Every now and then, stop and ask your child to describe the picture in his/her mind at this part in the story. If necessary, ask questions to help your child make this picture more vivid and detailed.

3. After reading, emphasize the strategy of retelling/summarizing. You may have had your child retell pieces of the story as he/she read; now it's time to retell the story as a whole.

PS - Keep the conversation quick and lively! There's no need to work on every strategy every time. In fact, that would probably be overwhelming, and it would really interfere with the flow of the story. Choose one or two strategies at a time. Even when you are working on comprehension with your child, reading time should still be cozy and enjoyable.

Reading Nonfiction

1. Here are two strategies to use before beginning a nonfiction book.

Predicting – Preview the cover and the table of contents. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into thirds to begin a KWL chart (What do I know? What do I want to know? What did I learn?)  Label the first section K. Ask your child to tell you everything he/she already knows about the topic and write down his/her ideas. Now ask your child to predict what he/she might learn from reading this book.

Questioning – Label the second section of the paper W for What do I want to know? After looking at the cover and the table of contents and after quickly flipping through the book, ask your child what he/she would like to learn by reading the book. Write these questions down. This helps set a purpose for reading. 

2. While reading, try these strategies.

Questioning - Have your child continue asking questions as he/she reads. Add them to the W section of the paper. Also, if any of your child's questions are answered as he/she reads, write down the answers on the L (What did I learn?) section of the paper.

Monitoring and Clarifying - Help your child make sure he/she understands what is being read by learning to use text features such as chapter titles, headings, bold face type, illustrations, and captions to organize all of the information. Make sure that your child stops at the end of a section or chapter to ask, "Did I understand what I just read? If not, what can I do about it?"

Retelling/Summarizing – This is a great opportunity to reinforce the idea of main idea and supporting details. After each section or chapter, talk about informa´╗┐tion that the author included. Is it really important or just interesting? Ask your child, “What was this section mostly about?” This is the main idea. Then ask, “What details tell me more about the main idea?” A good way to think about this is with a table analogy. The tabletop is the main idea, and the legs are the supporting details. They hold up the tabletop.

3. After reading, wrap up the discussion.

Questioning - Ask your child, "Did the book answer your questions? What do you still want to know? Where could you find out?"

Inferring - Help your child use his/her background knowledge and clues from the text to figure out how the author feels about the topic and what the author's message is. For example, "I think that the author admires Wilma Rudolph's perseverance, and the author's message is to believe in yourself and never give up just like Wilma Rudolph." Also, help your child think about the author's purpose. Is the author trying to inform the reader, persuade the reader, or entertain the reader?

Retelling/Summarizing – As before, this is a great opportunity to reinforce the idea of main idea and supporting details. ´╗┐Ask your child, “What was this section mostly about?” This is the main idea. Then ask, “What details tell me more about the main idea?” 

PS - As with fiction, keep the discussion low key and brief! Focus on one or two strategies at a time. Don't try to do everything with every book. Let your child see that you think nonfiction reading is an enjoyable and worthwhile activity.

 

INFO found at: http://www.bluevalleyk12.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=61314&linkid=nav-menu-original-4-3165