Cracking the First Grade Reading Code
Crack the code. Learn the secrets of First Grade reading.
What You Need To Know
First Grade reading begins with ‘cracking the code’, working out how words are created by breaking them down into different sounds, called ‘phonics’. Children are encouraged to ‘sound out’ new words, which means they will probably read word by word. With practice, they should progress to reading simple books such as Little Bear and Eat Your Peas, Louise! By the end of First Grade, most children will know more than 150 ‘sight words’, commonly used words such as ‘at’ or ‘in’.
How You Can Help
Parents can reinforce what their child learns at school in several different ways:
- Read aloud. Save time each day to read with your first grader. Read to your child, then get him or her to read to you. Bedtime can be a good moment to share this special time together.
- Record your child. Use a tape recorder or a camera, to make a recording of your child’s voice. Hearing it will definitely make them (or their siblings) giggle!
- Reread. Many children have a favorite book, which they will pull out daily, whether it’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Don’t get frustrated that they aren’t progressing to others. Rereading can be a fun and effective way of building confidence. The more a child reads a particular book, the more familiar he or she will become with the text. Then you can work together on reading with expression and responding to punctuation.
- Get the level right. It’s tempting to keep giving your child more complicated books, but a difficult story can frustrate young readers. Check out the education.com book lists for appropriate titles, or ask your child’s teacher for recommendations.
- Be gentle with mistakes. Every child will make a few false steps when reading aloud. Use questions to guide your child. “Did that sentence sound right?” Encourage them to find their own solutions, rather than correcting them immediately. If your first grader gets frustrated, read the word and move on to the next line.
First Grade is a magical time for parents. Until now, you’ve been the one to read aloud to your child. With care and encouragement, your child will also start to read and discover the special world that lies between the covers of a book.
For more information on reading milestones in First Grade, please see the full article:
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