What You Need:
- Any book your child is reading
- “Good Reader Strategies” sheet
- Heavy paper (cardstock)
- Glue stick
- Hole punch
- 1/4" lightweight craft ribbon in three different colors.
What You Do:
- Explain to your child that everyone can become a better reader, even a parent, and that you have some fun, easy ways to help her become a better reader, too.
- Print out both sides of the reading bookmark (click here for printable version), cut it out, and glue it onto heavy paper that is trimmed to fit the bookmark. (One side of the bookmark will contain word recognition strategies; the other, comprehension strategies.) If you have access to a laminator, you may wish to laminate the bookmark.
- Use the hole punch to make a hole on the top left corner of your bookmark. Then cut a 20" length of ribbon in three different colors that your child likes. Hold the three strands together, fold them in half, and stick the fold through the hole you have made. You will see that you have made a "loop" of ribbon. Now stick the ribbon ends through that, and pull tight. You will have a bookmark with six colorful ribbons attached.
- Focusing on one set of strategies at a time (word recognition, for example), have your child read aloud from her newest book. When she comes to a word she doesn't know, help her use the bookmark strategies to figure it out.
- Continue this process for as long as needed until your child has a good grasp of the strategies.
- Have your child use the other set of strategies (comprehension, for example) before and after reading their book aloud. Guide her along as she uses the bookmark.
- When she's ready to stop reading for a while, she can use the bookmark to mark her page...but the ribbons also give her a new freedom with her "chapter" books. She can move one ribbon to the Table of Contents, for example, and another to the title page. Or, if she's reading a textbook (as many second graders will start to do this year), she can mark one section at a time, and not get lost!
Parents, do beware: strategies alone don't make a super reader. Reading is a lifelong skill that takes steady, solid practice. But with tools like this bookmark, along with a joyful, positive attitude about your child's evolving skills, you can be sure you're offering the best support and encouragement possible.