Reading At Home
Parents often ask what they can do to help their children with reading at home. My answer is this: Help your child to learn to LOVE reading. Make it fun!
Find books that he or she wants to read, about things that are interesting to your child. Is your child into sports? Music? Magic tricks? Skateboarding? Do you have a pet that you could learn more about? Has something occurred in your child's life that is interesting and could be a jumping-off point for learning more about a topic? Does your child like to cook? All of these can be ideas for magazines and great books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Read in interesting places.Get comfy! Build a fort out of blankets and climb inside to read. Read outside in the grass, or on the patio. Go to a park or climb a tree and read. Take a book along in the car, or read while waiting to see the doctor. Of course, don't forget to snuggle up with a book at bedtime, too!
Find a book that your child enjoys, and read everything you can find by that author. There are thousands of amazing authors out there, and one of my favorite ways to teach is to choose several books by a single author to read to a class. It is amazing to me how excited even the most reluctant readers get about an author they enjoy, and how they suddenly seek out more books by this person! Also, when a reader gets "hooked" on a series of books (Magic Tree House, Jigsaw Jones, Ramona, Harry Potter, Charlie Bone, etc.) it opens up a whole world of adventures for them. They get to know the characters and the settings, and it may be hard to get them to stop reading!
Read, Read, Read! There are words everywhere. Read everything. Read signs, menus, directions, labels, lists, letters, emails, recipes, books, magazines, webpages, TV guides, video game reviews, movie listings, and everything else you can find. The more meaningful and REAL you make reading, the more your child will want to do it.
Reading Comprehension Tips
While you are reading, here are some things to talk about that will help your child understand what they read:
Author’s purpose: Why did the author write the story? What was his or her intent? For example, was it to persuade us to do something, to teach us something, or to tell a story? Do you think they achieved that purpose? What is the lesson the author wanted us to learn?
Monitor comprehension and create mental images: Do we understand what we are reading? Can we picture it? This is where going back to re-read can be helpful, along with using background knowledge and picturing what the author is describing. Sometimes we think of it as “painting a mental picture” or “playing a movie in our head” as we read.
Make inferences: This is a tough one for many kids. Authors often do not tell us exactly what is happening, where a story takes place, or how a character feels. They give descriptions and clues that the readers then have to put together to come to conclusions on their own. For example, if the author wrote about how a character stomped his bare foot into the wet sand, his face suddenly a deeper shade of red than his sunburn, as he watched the surfers paddle away on their boards without him….We can infer that the character is at a beach and that he is upset.
Summarizing and sequencing: Can we retell the main events of a story without giving every single detail? Can we put these events in the right order? What is the overall theme of the book? What lesson were we supposed to learn?
Making connections: How does what we read connect to our lives, the world around us, or other books that we have read? How are these books alike or different from each other?
Asking questions: Continue to wonder and ask questions about what is read. When we get a little bit of information about a topic, it should make us think and want to know MORE. Answers often generate more questions...and this fuels the love of learning!
When we put all of this together, we can make meaning and understand what we read. The state of Texas refers to these skills as "Figure 19."
Lots of math games at this web site. Children will love this site; however, there are directions for each game that will be difficult for first grade math students to maneuver!
So many fun and colorful multiplication games to practice your tables! Even first graders can practice skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.
Sail On + TEKS https://sites.google.com/site/sailonedu/elementary
A really great web site because it aligns with the Texas Standards - TEKS. You can select any grade level and a table pops up with the TEKS and game links that correlate.
A Plus Math http://www.aplusmath.com/
This web site was developed to help students improve their math skills interactively. There is a game room, flashcards, worksheets to print, and a homework helper.
Social-Emotional & Community Resources & Links (in orange)