Monday, September 27, 2010

Video Tips for Parents

Parents may be wondering how to support kids with reading and writing.  I have shared some of my tips on NBC's Today Show.

Here are two video links to those segments:

Teachers’ tips for struggling students
  Statistics show that a child drops out of school every 11 seconds. Experts share advice on how you can keep your child interested in school at a young age.

This segment highlights some of the issues kids encounter in primary grades and tips for parents to support their children.  Here are a few of the tips:

1.  If your child says, "I don't like reading," it may be that we just have not found the right books for the child.  You can do the following things:

  • Find out your child's reading level by asking the teacher.  Find books on your child's level.  She may not like reading because the books in her hands are frustrating.  If you get her matched to books at her level, the frustration will lessen and the joy will increase.
  • Find out the topics your child loves and then search for texts about those topics at the library and bookstore.  Ask the librarian or specialist in the children's section at the store to help you find the right texts.
2.  If your child has trouble decoding or what appears to you as actually reading the words on the page, there are things you can say and do to support them.  Here are a few things:
  • Give some wait time.  Count to three or five in your mind.  Let the child read on to the end of the sentence.  They often will be bale to self-correct their own error.
  • If they do not notice their error or have trouble self-correcting it, you can ask, "What strategy can you try?"  or one of the following:
    • "What word would make sense here?"
    • "What word would sound right here?"
    • "Take a look at that part of the word." (point to a part that you think they may know)
3.  If your child has trouble with reading comprehension, meaning she can read all the words just fine but has trouble retelling the text or making inferences (how/why questions for example), here are a few things you can do:
  • Be a reading partner to your child.  Read some of the same books your child is reading.  Then, after your child finishes a chapter or a section of the text, ask her to retell it to you or as a few how or why questions.  You can use the questions below in any book to start up conversation.  Remember, you want to start a conversation, not give a multiple choice test about the book.
    • In fiction text, you can ask...
      • What just happened?
      • What do you think will happen next?  Why do you think that will happen?
      • How do you think the character feels?  Why do you think he feels that way?
    • In non-fiction text, you can ask...
      • What did you just learn?
      • What do you think about that?
      • How does that compare with the information you read about the topic in other texts?

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