The Supplemental Reading Program (SRP) in Leander ISD focuses on students most in need of intensive reading intervention based on district qualifying criteria. The elements of the program include:

  • Thirty-minute long daily supplemental small group instruction (pull-out or push-in) taught by an SRP teacher in addition to Core Reading Instruction provided by the classroom teacher
  • Progress Monitoring every two weeks
  • Collaboration between classroom teacher and SRP teacher to communicate student progress and share strategies that benefit student progress

SRP teachers serve Kindergarten through 3rd-grade students on all campuses. SRP is a “tier 3 intervention” based on Leander ISD’s Response to Intervention (RtI) model.

Additional Resources

Kindergarten

How can I help my child with rhyming?

Rhyming Activities:

Becoming aware of how our spoken language works and how this relates to reading is one aspect of developing as an accomplished reader. Here are some ways to help your child learn to rhyme. Remember, children must first develop an ear for rhyme before they can start producing rhyming words.

  • One of the best ways for children to develop an ear for rhyme is to hear lots of stories that encourage language play through the use of rhyme. As you read rhyming books to your child, point out the words that rhyme on each page. (Dr. Seuss books are often full of rhyme! Another great title is The Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler.)
  • Recite nursery rhymes together. Emphasize the rhyming words. Say the nursery rhymes again and let your child fill in the rhyming words. “Jack and Jill went up the ____.”
  • Listen to children’s music. (Music by Raffi contains many great rhyming songs.)
  • Play The Name Game. Think of rhymes to go with the names of family members. (Mary Berry, Brian Lion, Jennifer Hennifer, Mama Llama, etc.) Call each other by your silly rhyming names.
  • Play Rhyme Time. Say three words to your child. Two of the words should rhyme. Have your child identify the two rhyming words. (cat/bat/dog; box/bag/fox; sack/pit/bit)
  • Play Let’s Eat. As your family is eating dinner, say, “Find something that rhymes with silk. (milk) Find something that rhymes with licken.” (chicken) Let your child ask you to find something that rhymes with _____.
  • Play Let’s Go Shopping. As you do your grocery shopping, say to your child, “Let’s buy something that rhymes with lead. (bread) Let’s buy something that rhymes with mutter. (butter) You can modify this game for a trip to the pet store or a trip to the toy store. “Let’s find an animal that rhymes with wish.” (fish)
  • Play I’m Thinking. Say, “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with pat. You wear it on your head.” (hat) “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with seen. It is a color word.” (green)

How can I help my child with hearing sounds in words?

Manipulating Sounds Activities:

Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. Before children learn to read print, they need to become aware of how the sounds in words work. They must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes.
Note: When a letter is in between two brackets (sample: /t/), the letter SOUND should be used instead of the letter NAME.

Phoneme Isolation:

Children recognize individual sounds in a word.

  • What is the first sound in van?
  • What is the final sound in the word pig?

Phoneme Identity:

Children recognize the same sounds in different words.

  • What sound is the same in fix, fall, and fun?
  • What sound is the same in run, rain, and rock?
  • What sound is the same in pail, paint, and park?

Phoneme Categorization:

Children recognize the word in a set of three or four words that has the “odd” sound.

  • Which word doesn’t belong? bus, bun, rug, ball?
  • Which word doesn’t belong? lap, love, lend, shop?

Phoneme Blending:

Children listen to a sequence of separately spoken phonemes, and then combine the phonemes to form a word. Then they write and read the word.

  • Parent: What word is /b/ /i/ /g/?
  • Child: /b/ /i/ /g/ is big.
  • Parent: Now let’s write the sounds in big: /b/, write b; /i/, write i; /g/, write g.
  • Parent: (Write on paper) Now we’re going to read the word big.

Phoneme Segmentation:

Children break a word into its separate sounds, saying each sound as they tap out or count it. Then they write and read the word.

  • Parent: How many sounds are in grab?
  • Child: /g/ /r/ /a/ /b/. Four sounds.
  • Parent: Now let’s write the sounds in grab: /g/, write g; /r/, write r; /a/, write a; /b/, write b.
  • Parent: (Write on paper) Now we’re going to read the word grab.

Phoneme Deletion:

Children recognize the word that remains when a phoneme is removed from another word.

  • Parent: What is smile without the /s/?
  • Child: Smile without the /s/ is mile.

Phoneme Addition:

Children make a new word by adding a phoneme to an existing word.

  • Parent: What word do you have if you add /s/ to the beginning of park?
  • Child: Spark.

Phoneme Substitution:

Children substitute one phoneme for another to make a new word.

  • Parent: The word is bug. Change /g/ to /n/. What’s the new word?
  • Child: Bun.

How can I help my child with letter naming?

Letter Naming Activities:

Children who are able to name and identify the letters of the alphabet have an easier time learning to read. Being able to call out letter names quickly and easily is important. Here are a few ideas for helping your child learn to recognize and name the letters in our alphabet.

  • Sing the alphabet song with your child as they play with alphabet books, blocks, and magnetic letters. Help your child learn to identify the letters in alphabet books.
  • As you are reading the morning newspaper, give a section of the paper to your child. Have your child take a crayon and circle letters that you call out. Say, “Draw a circle around letter ‘s’. Circle the letter ‘A’.” Start out by calling out the letters in your child’s name. If this is difficult for your child, focus on finding only one letter each day. Say, “See how many letter ‘p’s you can find.”
  • Put cornmeal or sand in the bottom of a cake pan or cookie sheet. Say a letter and have your child draw the letter in the cornmeal or sand. Variations: Go outside and use sidewalk chalk or draw letters in the dirt with a stick. Or you can write letters in a small dab of pudding on a plate.
  • Play I Spy with your child as you read to him each night. Say, “I spy the letter ___ on the cover of our book.” Have your child point to the letter that you named. Variation: You can also do this with road signs as you drive to the grocery store.
  • Use Play-Doh or clay to roll out long “snakes”. Have your child use the “snakes” to form letters. Variation: Use toothpicks or Legos to form letters.
  • Play letter games on your computer. Call out a letter for your child to type and see how quickly he can find and type it. Ask your child to type the letters in the alphabet or the letters in his name.
  • Keep a set of magnetic letters on your refrigerator. Call out letters for your child to find. Have him sort the letters by their shapes. Say, “Find the letters with curvy lines. Find the letters with straight lines. Find the letters with dots.” (i, j) Say, “Tell me the names of the pink letters. Tell me the names of the blue letters.”

How can I help my child with letter sounds?

Letter Sounds Activities:

Children need many opportunities to understand and use the building blocks of spoken language. We are helping our children learn that spoken sentences are made up of words, and words are made up of separate sounds. We are also helping them learn that these separate sounds are connected to the letters in printed words. Here are some activities that you can use to help your child connect the sounds of our language to the corresponding letters that make those sounds.

  • Play I Know Susie. Say, “I know Susie, and she likes (something that begins with letter S.)” “I know Mary, and she likes (marshmallows).” “I know Tim, and he likes (turkeys).” Continue with other names. Be sure to include your own child’s name and the names of family members and friends.
  • As you read to your child each night, ask your child to look at the title on the cover of his book. Say, “Point to the letter that makes the /t/ sound. Point to the letter that makes the /m/ sound.” Continue calling out sounds in random order. Variation: Have your child call out sounds of letters for you to find.
  • Play Name That Sound. Say, “What sound do you hear at the beginning of heart, ham, hot, hand?” Find out what letter sounds your child is working on at school, and emphasize those sounds at home. Variation: Ask your child to name the letter that makes the sound that you call out. Once your child can identify the beginning sounds in many words, help him learn to listen for the ending sounds in words. You can play this game while riding in the car or while waiting for dinner to be served at your favorite restaurant.
  • Cut a large letter m out of construction paper. Have your child look in old magazines or newspapers for pictures of things that begin with letter m. (mittens, milk, Mom, money, map, someone who is mad, mask, etc.) Have him cut out the pictures and glue them onto the large construction paper m. Post this on your refrigerator, and refer to it often. Do this with other letters, too. This can be done with both upper and lower case letters. You may want to draw pictures of things that you can’t find in magazines.
  • Play Rhyme Time. Say, “I’m thinking of something that begins with the sound of letter T, and it rhymes with wreath.” (teeth) “I’m thinking of something that begins with the sound of letter M, and it rhymes with house.” (mouse) Do this with other letters, too. This is another great travel game.
  • Place a few magnetic letters on the table for your child to spread out. Make the sound of one of those letters, and have your child pull out the magnetic letter that makes that particular sound. Variation: Say a word that begins with the sound of one of those letters, and have your child pull out that particular letter. You can use letter cards instead of magnetic letters, or your child can type the letter on the computer.

How can I help my child with phonics?

Phonics Activities:

Phonics is linking the sounds of language to the written letters and letter combinations children see in text. Being able to decode words phonetically according to the “rules” will help children read and spell better.

  • Practice “Nonsense Words.” Use index cards or card stock to make letter cards – one letter on each card. Put the cards in three stacks (a stack of consonants on each end and vowels in the middle.) Randomly change letters to practice reading nonsense words (and sometimes a real word sneaks in, too!). This activity reinforces each letter’s individual sound and helps with blending sounds together. Help your child remember that vowel sounds in the consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc) pattern always have the short vowel sound (cat, bed, pig, dog, run).
  • Play “Pick a Vowel.” Your child can use a dry erase marker and board or paper. Give your child a starting and ending consonant (or blends / digraphs for older students). The child gets to pick the vowel that goes in the middle and they get a point if they made a real word.
  • Word Families. Use plastic letters, index cards, word wheels (available at abcteach.com), or Easter eggs to practice reading words that have the same ending sound. (Easter eggs? Yes, it’s easy! Write an ending (like “in”) on one half of a plastic egg near the middle. Now write letters or blends that will make words with that ending (like “b,” “f,” “p,” “w”, “sk, “tw,” “ch,” and “gr,” on the other half of the egg. Spin the egg to match up each letter with the ending and read the words (bin, fin, pin, win, skin, twin, chin, and grin.) Make a different word family for each egg.) Help your child remember that words with the same sound pattern at the end are rhyming words!
  • Spell it Out! Practice spelling words that follow phonics rules with magnetic letters, a “Magna-Doodle”, magic slates, shaving cream, dry-erase boards, a sand tray, sidewalk chalk, gel bags, etc.

First Grade

How can I help my child with rhyming?

Rhyming Activities:

Becoming aware of how our spoken language works and how this relates to reading is one aspect of developing as an accomplished reader. Here are some ways to help your child learn to rhyme. Remember, children must first develop an ear for rhyme before they can start producing rhyming words.

  • One of the best ways for children to develop an ear for rhyme is to hear lots of stories that encourage language play through the use of rhyme. As you read rhyming books to your child, point out the words that rhyme on each page. (Dr. Seuss books are often full of rhyme! Another great title is The Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian and Ann Seidler.)
  • Recite nursery rhymes together. Emphasize the rhyming words. Say the nursery rhymes again and let your child fill in the rhyming words. “Jack and Jill went up the ____.”
  • Listen to children’s music. (Music by Raffi contains many great rhyming songs.)
  • Play The Name Game. Think of rhymes to go with the names of family members. (Mary Berry, Brian Lion, Jennifer Hennifer, Mama Llama, etc.) Call each other by your silly rhyming names.
  • Play Rhyme Time. Say three words to your child. Two of the words should rhyme. Have your child identify the two rhyming words. (cat/bat/dog; box/bag/fox; sack/pit/bit)
  • Play Let’s Eat. As your family is eating dinner, say, “Find something that rhymes with silk. (milk) Find something that rhymes with licken.” (chicken) Let your child ask you to find something that rhymes with _____.
  • Play Let’s Go Shopping. As you do your grocery shopping, say to your child, “Let’s buy something that rhymes with lead. (bread) Let’s buy something that rhymes with mutter. (butter) You can modify this game for a trip to the pet store or a trip to the toy store. “Let’s find an animal that rhymes with wish.” (fish)
  • Play I’m Thinking. Say, “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with pat. You wear it on your head.” (hat) “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with seen. It is a color word.” (green)

How can I help my child with letter naming?

Letter Naming Activities:

Children who are able to name and identify the letters of the alphabet have an easier time learning to read. Being able to call out letter names quickly and easily is important. Here are a few ideas for helping your child learn to recognize and name the letters in our alphabet.

  • Sing the alphabet song with your child as they play with alphabet books, blocks, and magnetic letters. Help your child learn to identify the letters in alphabet books.
  • As you are reading the morning newspaper, give a section of the paper to your child. Have your child take a crayon and circle letters that you call out. Say, “Draw a circle around letter ‘s’. Circle the letter ‘A’.” Start out by calling out the letters in your child’s name. If this is difficult for your child, focus on finding only one letter each day. Say, “See how many letter ‘p’s you can find.”
  • Put cornmeal or sand in the bottom of a cake pan or cookie sheet. Say a letter and have your child draw the letter in the cornmeal or sand. Variations: Go outside and use sidewalk chalk or draw letters in the dirt with a stick. Or you can write letters in a small dab of pudding on a plate.
  • Play I Spy with your child as you read to him each night. Say, “I spy the letter ___ on the cover of our book.” Have your child point to the letter that you named. Variation: You can also do this with road signs as you drive to the grocery store.
  • Use Play-Doh or clay to roll out long “snakes”. Have your child use the “snakes” to form letters. Variation: Use toothpicks or Legos to form letters.
  • Play letter games on your computer. Call out a letter for your child to type and see how quickly he can find and type it. Ask your child to type the letters in the alphabet or the letters in his name.
  • Keep a set of magnetic letters on your refrigerator. Call out letters for your child to find. Have him sort the letters by their shapes. Say, “Find the letters with curvy lines. Find the letters with straight lines. Find the letters with dots.” (i, j) Say, “Tell me the names of the pink letters. Tell me the names of the blue letters.”

How can I help my child with letter sounds?

Letter Sounds Activities:

Children need many opportunities to understand and use the building blocks of spoken language. We are helping our children learn that spoken sentences are made up of words, and words are made up of separate sounds. We are also helping them learn that these separate sounds are connected to the letters in printed words. Here are some activities that you can use to help your child connect the sounds of our language to the corresponding letters that make those sounds.

  • Play I Know Susie. Say, “I know Susie, and she likes (something that begins with letter S.)” “I know Mary, and she likes (marshmallows).” “I know Tim, and he likes (turkeys).” Continue with other names. Be sure to include your own child’s name and the names of family members and friends.
  • As you read to your child each night, ask your child to look at the title on the cover of his book. Say, “Point to the letter that makes the /t/ sound. Point to the letter that makes the /m/ sound.” Continue calling out sounds in random order. Variation: Have your child call out sounds of letters for you to find.
  • Play Name That Sound. Say, “What sound do you hear at the beginning of heart, ham, hot, hand?” Find out what letter sounds your child is working on at school, and emphasize those sounds at home. Variation: Ask your child to name the letter that makes the sound that you call out. Once your child can identify the beginning sounds in many words, help him learn to listen for the ending sounds in words. You can play this game while riding in the car or while waiting for dinner to be served at your favorite restaurant.
  • Cut a large letter m out of construction paper. Have your child look in old magazines or newspapers for pictures of things that begin with letter m. (mittens, milk, Mom, money, map, someone who is mad, mask, etc.) Have him cut out the pictures and glue them onto the large construction paper m. Post this on your refrigerator, and refer to it often. Do this with other letters, too. This can be done with both upper and lower case letters. You may want to draw pictures of things that you can’t find in magazines.
  • Play Rhyme Time. Say, “I’m thinking of something that begins with the sound of letter T, and it rhymes with wreath.” (teeth) “I’m thinking of something that begins with the sound of letter M, and it rhymes with house.” (mouse) Do this with other letters, too. This is another great travel game.
  • Place a few magnetic letters on the table for your child to spread out. Make the sound of one of those letters, and have your child pull out the magnetic letter that makes that particular sound. Variation: Say a word that begins with the sound of one of those letters, and have your child pull out that particular letter. You can use letter cards instead of magnetic letters, or your child can type the letter on the computer.

How can I help my child with phonics?

Phonics Activities:

  • Phonics is linking the sounds of language to the written letters and letter combinations children see in text. Being able to decode words phonetically according to the “rules” will help children read and spell better.
  • Practice “Nonsense Words.” Use index cards or card stock to make letter cards – one letter on each card. Put the cards in three stacks (a stack of consonants on each end and vowels in the middle.) Randomly change letters to practice reading nonsense words (and sometimes a real word sneaks in, too!). This activity reinforces each letter’s individual sound and helps with blending sounds together. Help your child remember that vowel sounds in the consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc) pattern always have the short vowel sound (cat, bed, pig, dog, run).
  • Play “Pick a Vowel.” Your child can use a dry erase marker and board or paper. Give your child a starting and ending consonant (or blends / digraphs for older students). The child gets to pick the vowel that goes in the middle and they get a point if they made a real word.
  • Word Families. Use plastic letters, index cards, word wheels (available at abcteach.com), or Easter eggs to practice reading words that have the same ending sound. (Easter eggs? Yes, it’s easy! Write an ending (like “in”) on one half of a plastic egg near the middle. Now write letters or blends that will make words with that ending (like “b,” “f,” “p,” “w”, “sk, “tw,” “ch,” and “gr,” on the other half of the egg. Spin the egg to match up each letter with the ending and read the words (bin, fin, pin, win, skin, twin, chin, and grin.) Make a different word family for each egg.) Help your child remember that words with the same sound pattern at the end are rhyming words!
  • Spell it Out! Practice spelling words that follow phonics rules with magnetic letters, a “Magna-Doodle”, magic slates, shaving cream, dry-erase boards, a sand tray, sidewalk chalk, gel bags, etc.

Second Grade

How can I help my child with phonics?

Phonics Activities:

Phonics is linking the sounds of language to the written letters and letter combinations children see in text. Being able to decode words phonetically according to the “rules” will help children read and spell better.

  • Practice “Nonsense Words.” Use index cards or card stock to make letter cards – one letter on each card. Put the cards in three stacks (a stack of consonants on each end and vowels in the middle.) Randomly change letters to practice reading nonsense words (and sometimes a real word sneaks in, too!). This activity reinforces each letter’s individual sound and helps with blending sounds together. Help your child remember that vowel sounds in the consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc) pattern always have the short vowel sound (cat, bed, pig, dog, run).
  • Play “Pick a Vowel.” Your child can use a dry erase marker and board or paper. Give your child a starting and ending consonant (or blends / digraphs for older students). The child gets to pick the vowel that goes in the middle and they get a point if they made a real word.
  • Word Families. Use plastic letters, index cards, word wheels (available at abcteach.com), or Easter eggs to practice reading words that have the same ending sound. (Easter eggs? Yes, it’s easy! Write an ending (like “in”) on one half of a plastic egg near the middle. Now write letters or blends that will make words with that ending (like “b,” “f,” “p,” “w”, “sk, “tw,” “ch,” and “gr,” on the other half of the egg. Spin the egg to match up each letter with the ending and read the words (bin, fin, pin, win, skin, twin, chin, and grin.) Make a different word family for each egg.) Help your child remember that words with the same sound pattern at the end are rhyming words!
  • Spell it Out! Practice spelling words that follow phonics rules with magnetic letters, a “Magna-Doodle”, magic slates, shaving cream, dry-erase boards, a sand tray, sidewalk chalk, gel bags, etc.

How can I help my child with fluency?

Fluency Activities:

Reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, expression, phrasing, and appropriate rate. Students who are fluent readers are better able to devote their attention to comprehending the text, and gaining meaning from the text is the goal of reading. Here are a few things that you can do to help your child become a fluent reader:

  • Model fluent reading. Continue to read aloud to your child throughout the elementary school years. Read with lots of exaggerated expression. Change your voice to represent different characters. Use a high squeaky voice for the mouse and a sweet, loving voice for the princess. You are modeling what a good reader sounds like.
  • Try echo reading. Choose a book that your child has read several times. You read the first short sentence or phrase aloud using an appropriate rate and expression. Then have your child echo you, copying your rate and expression. Younger readers need to point to the words when echo reading so that they are attending to the written text. Continue reading the book in this manner. You read the next sentence or phrase, and then have your child echo you.
  • Try choral reading with your child. Choose a book that your child has read several times and read it aloud together. Be very expressive when you read, and emphasize phrasing.
  • As you read with your child, point out the Super Signals that good readers use. An exclamation point or bold print tells the reader to raise his voice and read with emphasis. A period or comma tells the reader to pause. A question mark signals the reader to sound like they are asking a question. Explain to your child that fluent reading sounds like the reader is speaking to you.
  • Reread a familiar book with your child. Have your child choose one character’s part to read; you choose a different character. Discuss the characters’ feelings throughout the story. When the character is angry, use an angry voice. When the character is frightened, make sure that you sound really frightened. Have fun reading each part with lots of expression. You may want to invite other family members to join in the fun when there are several different characters within a story.
  • Success breeds success. Show your child his progress. Time your child for one minute as he reads a new book. Count the number of words he read correctly. Now have your child practice those same pages again and again. You may want to read these same pages to your child as a model. After he has had a lot of practice, time him again for one minute as he reads these same pages. Count the words he has read correctly this time and compare to the number he read the first time. Shout for joy as you celebrate his improvement!
  • Have your child reread books that he/she has read before. Many experts believe that repeated reading of familiar texts is the best way to improve fluency.

How can I help my child with comprehension?

Comprehension Activities:

When good readers read, they think about the story so they will be able to remember the order of events and details about characters, setting, problems, and solutions. In order to fully comprehend a story, readers often make connections to the story, ask questions, make inferences, and visualize details and events.

  • After your child reads or listens to a book, have them start at the beginning and retell the story in order using as many details as they can remember. You can prompt them to help as they get better at this skill: “What happened at the beginning? ” “What happened next?” “What happened after he/she __________” “How did the story end?” etc.
  • Use the who? did what? when? where? why? model of retelling a story.
  • As your child reads, ask them to think about and relate their own experiences and knowledge to the story or text that they are reading. They connect the text to their own lives. Stop reading every now and then to allow your child to share with you the connections that he is making. He should say things like, “This part reminds me of ______.” Share your own connections, too, as you read with your child.
  • As you read with your child, ask him/her to predict before and during the reading, wonder about why characters do what they do, predict alternate ending or sequels to the story, etc.
  • Help your child practice visualizing, making pictures in their mind of what they are reading. When you notice a particularly descriptive paragraph or passage, describe what you see in your mind as you read. For example: The air was warm and fragrant with the perfume of flowers. There were roses of various colors all across the field. You might say to your child, “I am picturing some red, pink, and white roses covering a huge patch of land that stretches as far as I can see.” Ask your child to describe or draw the mental images he has as he reads or listens to a story.
  • Practice making inferences by playing “PROVE IT!” Make up a short story like the examples below. The story should give several hints about what is happening without stating it explicitly. After sharing the story with your child, have them infer what is happening. Then say “Prove it!” and ask them to tell you at least two clues from the story that helped infer what was happening.
    • The little girl stomped to her bedroom, slammed the door, and screamed as loudly as she could.
    • He swung the bat as hard as he could and watched the ball soar toward the stands. He quickly ran around the bases and slid into home plate as the crowd stood and cheered.
    • She put on two pairs of socks, buttoned up her heavy coat, slipped on her mittens, and covered her ears with her hat.
    • Soon the doorbell rang, and each child eagerly ran in holding a special present for Jamie. They played games, ate cake and ice cream, and watched Jamie unwrap her gifts.

How can I can I help my child build a stronger vocabulary?

Vocabulary Activities:

You can encourage indirect learning of vocabulary in two main ways. First, read aloud to your child; no matter what age. Students of all ages can learn words from hearing texts of various kinds read to them. Reading aloud words best when you discuss the selection before, during, and after you read. Talk with your child about new vocabulary and concepts and help them relate the words to their prior knowledge and experiences. The second way to promote indirect learning of vocabulary is to encourage students to read extensively on their own. Another way you can help your child develop vocabulary is to foster word consciousness–an awareness of and interest in words, their meanings, and their power. Word-conscious students know many words and use them well. They enjoy words and are eager to learn new words–and they know how to learn them. You can help your child develop word consciousness in several ways. Call attention to the way authors choose words to convey particular meanings. Encourage your child to play with words by engaging in word play, such as puns or palindromes. Help them research a word’s origin or history. You can also encourage them to search for examples of a word’s usage in their everyday lives.

Third Grade

How can I help my child with fluency?

Fluency Activities:

Reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, expression, phrasing, and appropriate rate. Students who are fluent readers are better able to devote their attention to comprehending the text, and gaining meaning from the text is the goal of reading.

Here are a few things that you can do to help your child become a fluent reader:

  • Model fluent reading. Continue to read aloud to your child throughout the elementary school years. Read with lots of exaggerated expression. Change your voice to represent different characters. Use a high squeaky voice for the mouse and a sweet, loving voice for the princess. You are modeling what a good reader sounds like.
  • Try echo reading. Choose a book that your child has read several times. You read the first short sentence or phrase aloud using an appropriate rate and expression. Then have your child echo you, copying your rate and expression. Younger readers need to point to the words when echo reading so that they are attending to the written text. Continue reading the book in this manner. You read the next sentence or phrase, and then have your child echo you.
  • Try choral reading with your child. Choose a book that your child has read several times and read it aloud together. Be very expressive when you read, and emphasize phrasing.
  • As you read with your child, point out the Super Signals that good readers use. An exclamation point or bold print tells the reader to raise his voice and read with emphasis. A period or comma tells the reader to pause. A question mark signals the reader to sound like they are asking a question. Explain to your child that fluent reading sounds like the reader is speaking to you.
  • Reread a familiar book with your child. Have your child choose one character’s part to read; you choose a different character. Discuss the characters; feelings throughout the story. When the character is angry, use an angry voice. When the character is frightened, make sure that you sound really frightened. Have fun reading each part with lots of expression. You may want to invite other family members to join in the fun when there are several different characters within a story.
  • Success breeds success. Show your child his progress. Time your child for one minute as he reads a new book. Count the number of words he read correctly. Now have your child practice those same pages again and again. You may want to read these same pages to your child as a model. After he has had a lot of practice, time him again for one minute as he reads these same pages. Count the words he has read correctly this time and compare to the number he read the first time. Shout for joy as you celebrate his improvement!
  • Have your child reread books that he has read before. Many experts believe that repeated reading of familiar texts is the best way to improve fluency.

How can I help my child with comprehension?

Comprehension Activities:

When good readers read, they think about the story so they will be able to remember the order of events and details about characters, setting, problems, and solutions. In order to fully comprehend a story, readers often make connections to the story, ask questions, make inferences, and visualize details and events.

  1. After your child reads or listens to a book, have them start at the beginning and retell the story in order using as many details as they can remember. You can prompt them to help as they get better at this skill: “What happened at the beginning? ” “What happened next?” “What happened after he/she __________” “How did the story end?” etc.
  2. Use the who? did what? when? where? why? model of retelling a story.
  3. As your child reads, ask them to think about and relate their own experiences and knowledge to the story or text that they are reading. They connect the text to their own lives. Stop reading every now and then to allow your child to share with you the connections that he is making. He should say things like, “This part reminds me of ______.” Share your own connections, too, as you read with your child.
  4. As you read with your child, ask him/her to predict before and during the reading, wonder about why characters do what they do, predict alternate ending or sequels to the story, etc.
  5. Help your child practice visualizing, making pictures in their mind of what they are reading. When you notice a particularly descriptive paragraph or passage, describe what you see in your mind as you read. For example: The air was warm and fragrant with the perfume of flowers. There were roses of various colors all across the field. You might say to your child, “I am picturing some red, pink, and white roses covering a huge patch of land that stretches as far as I can see.” Ask your child to describe or draw the mental images he has as he reads or listens to a story.
  6. Practice in by playing “PROVE IT!” Make up a short story like the examples below. The story should give several hints about what is happening without stating it explicitly. After sharing the story with your child, have them infer what is happening. Then say “Prove it!” and ask them to tell you at least two clues from the story that helped infer what was happening.
    1. The little girl stomped to her bedroom, slammed the door, and screamed as loudly as she could.
    2. He swung the bat as hard as he could and watched the ball soar toward the stands. He quickly ran around the bases and slid into home plate as the crowd stood and cheered.
    3. She put on two pairs of socks, buttoned up her heavy coat, slipped on her mittens, and covered her ears with her hat.
    4. Soon the doorbell rang, and each child eagerly ran in holding a special present for Jamie. They played games, ate cake and ice cream, and watched Jamie unwrap her gifts.

How can I help my child build a stronger vocabulary?

Vocabulary Activities:

You can encourage indirect learning of vocabulary in two main ways. First, read aloud to your child; no matter what age. Students of all ages can learn words from hearing texts of various kinds read to them. Reading aloud words best when you discuss the selection before, during, and after you read. Talk with your child about new vocabulary and concepts and help them relate the words to their prior knowledge and experiences.

The second way to promote indirect learning of vocabulary is to encourage students to read extensively on their own.

Another way you can help your child develop vocabulary is to foster word consciousness–an awareness of and interest in words, their meanings, and their power. Word-conscious students know many words and use them well. They enjoy words and are eager to learn new words–and they know how to learn them.

You can help your child develop word consciousness in several ways. Call attention to the way authors choose words to convey particular meanings. Encourage your child to play with words by engaging in word play, such as puns or palindromes. Help them research a word’s origin or history. You can also encourage them to search for examples of a word’s usage in their everyday lives.

Sight Words

Children who know words by sight are able to read them automatically. A large sight word vocabulary enables children to read fluently and to focus their attention on making sense of what they are reading. A child’s sight vocabulary is composed of all of the words recognized instantly. Some words recognized on sight occur very often in books and are referred to as basic sight words. (Refer to the Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and Third Grade sections above for grade-specific sight words.) These words are a vital part of a child’s sight vocabulary. Here are some ways that you can help your child learn to read these very important words:

  1. Go to the Sight Word Charts page on this website. We use charts like these in SRP to help the children learn to recognize their sight words instantly. Be sure to read the instructions for using the charts in the introduction paragraph.
  2. Highlight Words in Newspapers and Magazines. As you are reading the morning newspaper, give a section of the paper to your child. Have him take a light colored crayon and highlight one or two of the sight words that he needs to learn. Can he find the word four or more times? Variation: Look for and point to these words in the books that you read together each night.
  3. Play Make and Break. Use magnetic letters to make one of the sight words that your child needs to learn. Read it to your child, and then break apart the word and scramble the letters. Have your child remake the word, point to it, and read it to you. Then have him break it apart. Repeat this process several times until your child is able to quickly remake the word. Variation: Use letter cards instead of magnetic letters.
  4. Play Tic Tac Toe. Draw a Tic Tac Toe grid on a piece of paper. Rather than playing the game with Xs and Os, choose two sight words that your child needs to learn. You might choose the word ‘of’ and your child might choose the word ‘were’. Let your child begin by spelling and writing his word in one of the squares. After writing his word, he must read it with his finger. Next, you will spell and write your word, and read it with your finger. Who will be first to get three in a row?
  5. Play Word Hunt. Place several sight word cards around your living room. Ask your child to hunt for the cards, reading them aloud when he finds one.
  6. Play Concentration. Write several sight words on cards. Each word should have at least two cards. Place several pairs of sight word cards face down on a table. Take turns with your child uncovering and reading two cards, looking for pairs. If the two cards are not a pair, turn them back over. When you or your child find a pair, read the word and take the cards. Who will have the most pairs at the end of the game?

Reading Aloud

One of the best ways you can support your beginning reader is by making reading time a priority. Listen to him read every evening. Here are some tips for making the most out of this precious time with your child:

  1. Make each reading time a positive, encouraging experience for your child. Point out things that he is doing well. Remember that success breeds success.
  2. Beginning readers will memorize their books at first. This is one of the earlier stages of learning to read. Help your child see himself as a successful reader.
  3. Talk with your child about the title of the book and make predictions about what it might be about. Good readers are always seeking to understand the text.
  4. As your child reads, talk with him about what is happening in the story. Discuss characters feelings and make predictions.
  5. Do NOT cover up the pictures when your child reads. We are teaching the children that good readers use the pictures to help them figure out the words that they are reading.
  6. Encourage your beginning reader to point to each word as he reads. This helps him to attend to each written word on the page. He is learning that one spoken word must match one written word of text. After several months, most children will stop pointing to the words on their own.
  7. When your child comes to an unknown word, wait five seconds before saying anything.
  8. Help your child learn that good readers use many strategies to figure out unknown words. Below are some things that you can say when your child comes to a word that he is not familiar with. (IMPORTANT: Encourage your child to try only a couple of these strategies at a time. If after two attempts your child still cannot figure out the word, go ahead and tell him the word. You don t want to let him get overly frustrated.)To help your child figure out an unknown word, you can say…
    • “Look at the picture.”
    • “Sound it out.”
    • “Try that sentence again. When you get to the hard word, get your mouth ready and make the first sound.”
    • “Try that sentence again. Skip the hard word, and think about what word would make sense there.”
    • “See if you can find a little word inside of the bigger word.” (If your child can read the word ‘or , he may be able to use that knowledge to figure out the word ‘more .)
    • “See if you can find a word part that you recognize.” (If your child knows the word part ‘ing , he may be able to use that knowledge to figure out the word ‘thing .)
    • “That word looks like another word you know.” Show him the similar word. (If he can read the word ‘look , he can use that knowledge to figure out the word ‘cook .)
  9. After your child knows several of these strategies, ask HIM to tell YOU what strategies he can try when he comes to a word that he doesn’t recognize. We want him to make these strategies his own.
  10. After reading a fiction book, ask your child to retell the story to you. He should mention the characters by name, identify the setting of the story, and summarize the beginning, middle, and ending of the story. Talk about your favorite parts. Compare this book to other books you have read together.
  11. After reading a nonfiction book, discuss the things you have learned. Talk about the parts of the book that you found most interesting. Discuss how nonfiction books differ from fiction books. Pay attention to the many different conventions found in nonfiction texts. (table of contents, index, subheadings, bold print, glossary, maps, graphs, photographs with captions, comparisons) Discuss the importance of these conventions.

Remember to keep the reading experience positive and encouraging.

Contact Information

Amie Chase, Intervention Coordinator
amie.chase@leanderisd.org
512-570-0250