Reading tips & strategies: July 2021

 Each reader is different, but we all share a desire to explore, engage and discover stories around us. As part of relaunching my blog, I’d like to share quick suggestions of reading tips and strategies. I truly believe that we discover the magic of reading by getting recommendations from trusted friends in our lives. Think of me as your own personal librarian.

image from Reading Rockets

Comprehension: Understanding what you read

Comprehension is the real goal of reading — it’s understanding what we read, and connecting it to our broader understanding of the world. But how do strong readers do this? How can we help our children strengthen these skills? Reading Rockets sets out a few good tips in its series Reading 101: A Guide for Parents. Try these:

* Draw on prior knowledge: Before you read, do a picture walk and talk about what you know already. What connections can you make, just from looking at the title, cover and some of the pictures?

* Form mental images: Do you see a movie in your head as you read? Good readers often form mental pictures as they read, and this helps them put together the action or ideas in a story.

* Summarize & retell: Talk about what you see as the important parts of the story. Who are the main characters, and what problems are they facing? Talking through this will help your child learn to weed out unnecessary information.

Making Reading Relevant: Read, Learn and Do!

Reading can make our real-world experiences more meaningful, whether it’s learning about something in our natural environment or getting inspired to draw & create artwork. Look at this short post from Colorín Colorado, a wonderful resource supporting families of English Language Learners. 

Are storms coming to your area this summer? Read a story like The Buffalo Storm, by Katherine Applegate. Pair it with a nonfiction book like Magic School Bus: Inside a Hurricane or National Geographic’s Storms! Then get prepared for storms coming your way — put together a storm kit with flashlights and extra batteries. Brainstorm a list of how to keep calm and be prepared — maybe practice with stuffed animals who are scared of lightning.

Making reading meaningful and relevant will help children develop their confidence and comprehension skills. How do you help grow your readers? Send me a note, and let me know what works for you!

©2021 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books