On day 7 we took a look improving fluency and specifically at stopping appropriately at periods and commas. Today we are going to focus on what to do with question marks. If this particular strategy isn’t something that your child struggles with, then you can simply focus on the information from the previous days.
When we read we know that our voice goes up and down very naturally. We don’t need any instruction in this, it just happens. However, when we are reading, many times a child will look at a question mark and keep a monotone voice and read it like a period. Their voice doesn’t change, and it is really hard to tell as the listener that there was a question asked because not making our voice go up and down actually changes the meaning of what we are reading.
When I am teaching kids reading online I am able to highlight the books with two different colors very easily. I highlight the words that go up as green and the words that go down as red. Then when I am done I have the kids take a look at exactly where my voice was going up and down. This visual actual helps kids to see their voice in a different way.
After we analyze what happens with their voice we go over when the voice is particularly going up and going down. Then the child gets to practice making their own voice go up and down. It is a powerful strategy and it ultimately leads to better comprehension.
If you own the book, then you can mark it up all you want to help your child with this, however, if you don’t own it you are aware that would be a very bad move. That is why I love using ebooks with kids online. I can mark up the text to guide them without getting in their space or ruining a great book.
Once your child’s voice has improved in fluency, you will notice how much more interesting it is to listen to him or her read. It also increases their own personal motivation to want to read. Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to guide you in how I do this.
Yesterday you were reminded about picking out one vocabulary word a day. Today we are going to talk about some resources that can really help aid you and your child with learning new vocabulary.
I haven’t personally found an online dictionary that I absolutely love, but I have found one that I like. You can go to www.vocabulary.com. What I like about this site is that it has examples of how to use the word for other texts. What I don’t like about the vocabulary sites I have found and even the apps on the ipad is that the definitions of words in dictionaries don’t seem to be very kid friendly. I am sure that you remember as a child looking up one word to be in the endless stream of looking up other words within the definition. This is a frustrating task and it is important to note that not all vocabulary words have to be learned or even looked up. That would take up so much of our brain power that we would have no motivation to continue reading what we started with in the first place.
A resource that I absolutely love is called www.spellingcity.com. This site is a subscription site, so you will need to pay a small fee, but it is totally worth it. In fact, all the parents that I work with get free use of this site because of how valuable it is to me.
This site has a vocabulary section that automatically generates definitions and saves those definitions to play games with. The child is able to go and play games on their own and then later on they can take a fun test to find out how many of these words they are able to remember.
I have found that the games are very high quality and are absolutely amazing. I love the flash cards. I personally use them as a talking piece instead of just relying on reading the definitions. I try to put the words in different contexts and fun examples to enhance their understanding of the vocabulary word.
Check out the site. It also has spelling games to really help with spelling words correctly. That isn’t our focus here with reading with our child, but I know that many parents have shared their frustration with the spelling that their child is presenting. Keep reading and encouraging your child to reach the reading success that you know he/she can reach!