Helping children read
This week we are exploring the alternative ways that can help children with their reading skills. According to The Guardian, children learn best when they are using their imagination. This is because creativity counts, it makes things seem out of the ordinary and memorable. Considering this to be true, creativity may be an essential element of finding alternative ways to help young people with their reading levels. As part of TeacherBoards Literacy Month, this blog post will include various ways on helping children go further with their literacy skills and develop with their reading. These techniques can be used at home or in the classroom and it is important that we help our younger generation to enjoy learning without pressure in any environment.
Firstly, one way of helping develop a child’s academic skills is to get active. Sitting around in a classroom and then slumping around at home can make children feel fatigued due to the lack of energy they are supplying through their bodies. A general exercise routine can help increase brain activity thus being a great technique that can help children develop their intellect. This exercise does not have to be a thorough work out, as long as they are being energetic and jumping around, it can be helpful for development.
When reading with a child, it can be helpful to incorporate props to develop a structure of reading and a memorable experience. You could create small props of the characters in the story you are reading and ask them to read when it is their character’s ‘turn’. This helps children get involved in the story and also make them concentrate on what they are reading so they will not miss their go at reading. It may be a good idea to use silly voices to take away the pressure that learning to read can sometimes bring. This also makes children excited to have their go as they know it can be a humorous experience rather than a daunting one.
Reading a story book that is suitable for their age range is also essential. If you read something that they can’t relate to or something that they may consider to be dull will make them uninterested in the task. You need to find reading texts that they can get excited about and something they look forward to reading. This can also help increase the opportunities of getting children to read individually and out of school.
Guided reading groups are also a useful idea as the students are able to support each other with their reading. It is important to consistently ask questions about the books they are reading so you can process how well they are doing with their reading and if they also understand what they are reading. This factor is equally essential as children may be able to see a word and read it out but they may not know what it means, meaning they are unable to fully process the reading experience.
Role play games can also be an enjoyable aspect of guided reading. You could give each reading group a chapter or a script to follow and then they are able to work together to act it out. This can help children work together with their reading without the anxiety of not wanting to get their lines wrong.
When a child is struggling reading specific words, whether it be a long word or an oddly spelt one, it is important to correct them without being patronising. One useful tip is to ask them to copy down the words they don’t understand or cannot pronounce on a mini whiteboard and go through it with them. It can be helpful to spread out segments or the phonemes of the word to make it easier to pronounce. Discuss with the reader the alternate ways of sounding a letter, such as ‘C’ and tell them why it can be used in different instances. You can find these super useful mini whiteboards on our TeacherBoards website.
Strengthening your sensory skills and memory is a beneficial way of improving your reading skills. Your sensory skills are good for your memory as they can help relate different aspects of what you are attempting to learn. Although vision is the primary sensory required for reading, your other sensory skills are sometimes just as useful. Learning is multi-sensory; this is why it is advantageous to incorporate different types of reading tactics to help children learn. Being active, listening, and watching as part of a reading exercise can improve reading levels. This is due to how it increases brain activity and becomes a memorable experience for them to relate back to. Reading is a challenging task for beginners; remind your children and pupils of this as it can become a stressful event for some. Don’t forget that practice makes perfect.
Have Your Say
We would love know your useful tips and advice on helping children with their reading skills by tweeting us on www.twitter.com/teacherboards and use the hashtag #TBliteracymonth!