Elementary Reading Strategies: Tips for Parents and Teachers

Do you have a child currently attending elementary school? If you do, then you're probably already aware of how important reading is to your child's education. With practice and a fair amount of effort, your child will most likely become better at using strategies to build reading comprehension and fluency. The following are a few common reading strategies that are taught in elementary schools.

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Strategies and Tips for Helping Your Child Read


It can be helpful for your child to get some work done before approaching a text. Pre-reading allows your child to get ready for a new text before tackling it. There are many pre-reading techniques you can show your child, like skimming for main themes and brainstorming about what may come. Have your child say or write down a few ideas about the text before diving in.

Cause and Effect, Inferences and Drawing Conclusions

It's important for your child to understand cause and effect when reading. There are exercises you can do to help. For example, tickle the bottom of your child's foot. When your child laughs and kicks the air, ask why. At some point in the near future, apply this to same principle to a text your child must read for school.

Your child will sometimes need to understand the difference between an inference and an observation. An observational statement is usually a statement about what has been seen. An inference, however, is a conclusion logically drawn from what has been seen.

As a critical thinker, your child will need to draw his or her own conclusions from a text, in addition to understanding the overall theme. Go over texts with your child and help him or her draw conclusions, such as the story's moral or what the character would do next time.

Prediction and Context Clues

A common exercise, when it comes to strengthening reading comprehension, is prediction. While reading a story or book with your child, have him or her make guesses about what might occur later in the text.

Understanding and using context clues is also a reading skill your child will often need to master before entering into middle school. Context clues are the words in a sentence that surround a new vocabulary word. These words are designed to help your child gain an understanding of the new term. Although context clues are most commonly used in textbooks, they are also used in many genres of children's literature.

Reading at Home

In order to ensure that your child learns all of the basic reading skills that he or she needs, encourage reading at home. Take your child to the library or a bookstore and allow him or her to pick out books. You can also print book lists from the Internet that you and your child can look over. If you can, set aside a family reading time every day.

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