Learning to read can be fun, exciting, and sometimes frustrating. How can you tell if a student is ready to read?
A few things I look for are :
- Interest – Does the student want to learn to read? If yes, great! If no, it will become very frustrating for everyone to force it. Try peaking that student’s interest by finding books he/she might be interested in. Have him/her look at the pictures and tell you experiences they have had with the topic (basketball, bugs, princesses, etc.)
- Book and Print Awareness – Does the child know how to hold a book? Does the student understand that words are read from left to right? Does he/she know the difference between words and pictures?
- Phonological Awareness – Can the child hear and identify the different sounds they hear in words? Can the child recognize when words rhyme? Does the student recognize when two words begin the same or end with the same sound? Does he/she understand that letters make up the words?
- The child can retell simple stories.
- Letter Recognition – Can the child recognize most uppercase and lowercase letters? A child does not need to know ALL the letters before they start learning to read. A few of the letters are not very common and won’t effect their ability to read. However, keep working with them on those letters they do not know yet.
- Letter Sounds – Can the child identify each letter’s sound?
For this post, I am going to focus on phonological awareness and letter sounds. Each month, we focus on a new word family. This month, we learned the “-og” family. Mother Goose Time sends word family games each month. I have included pictures of the last 4 months.
I have a mixed-age preschool group. Some of the students are not ready to read words yet. With this group, when we pull out our word family game, we focus on the individual letters and individual sounds. I have them point to each letter and tell me the name and the sound. This is helping them make the connection that letters make sounds and those sounds, when put together, make words. I also read the word to the students and ask, “What sounds do you hear in the word _____?” I help them break apart the word and listen for the individual sounds.
Some students know most of the letters and sounds and are ready to start blending those sounds together to make words! Working with words families is a great start for kids to learn to read. My students seem to be able to pick up the pattern quickly. Each word has the same ending sound. First, we practice reading the ending sound. I teach them what the word family says. Then, the students take turns rolling the die. They identify the letter and sound. Finally, we practice blending the beginning sound to the ending sound. Towards the middle of the game, they start blending the words on their own. And by the end of the game, most of those students are able to read the words on their own with no help. Continuing to bring out these word family games and playing them with your students will help them remember the words they have already learned.
Every child is at a different level when it comes to reading readiness. I would never want to push a child to read who isn’t ready. Look for the signs that your child is ready to read. Good luck!
How do you teach your students to read?
** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 2nd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!