• Reading and Vocabulary

      Book Choices 

    Easy - Child can read every word and understands what is going on in the
    book.  (Builds fluency and self-confidence)

     Just Right - Child can read most of the words and understands most of what is
    going on in the book.  (Builds reading strategies)

     Challenge - Child can only read a few of the words and does not understand the
    book independently.  (These books should be read TO your child to build vocabulary,
    listening comprehension, and provide a good model for reading)

    Ways Parents Can Help Develop Their Child’s Vocabulary

     Research indicates that the best way of learning new words is through direct experiences.  The more experiences your child has, the richer his or her vocabulary - and life- will be. 

    1. Keep a dictionary next to the area where you and your children eat meals.  Often a new word will come up in conversation.  While your child may not be in the habit of looking up words in the dictionary, he or she will be only too delighted to have you look it up.  your child is the winner; his or her word knowledge grows. 

    1.  Use dinner time to use new word deliberately.  Explain the meaning of the word, and try to use it again later on so your child will remember it.

    1. Take trips with your child, and talk to him or her about what you are seeing and doing.  The park, the zoo, the library, a public building, the supermarket, the pet store, the airport, a sports event, a hike and a museum all are fine places to stimulate discussion. 

    1. Reading to your child helps to enlarge his or her concepts and vocabulary.

    1. Do a project together; build something; plan a party.  Discuss the steps involved in the sequence, and do not talk down to your child.

    Understanding Reading Levels When Helping Your Child Choose a Book 

              In order for your child to have enjoyment and success with his or her home reading, the book must not only be interesting but at the appropriate level for him/her. 

              The reading level mentioned in his/her progress report, and the level at which his/her school reading program is planned, is the instructional level.  This is the level where the child recognizes 90 out of 100 words and comprehends at least 75 percent of the material. 

              The level at which your child should generally be reading for leisure and pleasure is his/her independent level.  This level always is lower than the level he/she is being instructed on, and, in fact, it may be as much as one full grade level below the instructional level.  On this level he/she recognizes 95 percent for all the words and comprehends 90 percent of the material.  This is the easy reading level where he/she can read without teacher or parent help. 

              A child develops confidence from success in easy reading.  If he/she knows almost all the words, it is possible to figure out the others and go on.  Generally if the reading level is right for your child, he/she will “try out” the book. 

              For the young child, you can show him/her a simple way to help decide if the book is too hard.  Have your child read a page or two from the middle of the book.  Every time he/she comes to an unfamiliar word, have him/her put down a finger form one hand.  If he/she makes a fist, the book probably is too hard. 

              Your child also has a frustration level.  At this level the material is too difficult.  He/she recognizes less than 90 percent of the words and comprehension is less than 75 percent.  Guide your child and help him/her to avoid choosing books on this level.         

              In addition to the reading levels above, your child also has a listening comprehension level.  This is the level of material your child can listen to and understand when you read to him/her.  Comprehension should be at least 75 percent.  Keep this is mind when you read to your child.  Your child may be able to listen to and understand books on a higher level than he/she is reading on.


     (From Transitions by Regie Routman)