Reading is extremely important in first grade, because everything we do involves reading! Please read with your child at home as much as possible, preferably 20 minutes each night. Parents and child can take turns reading; you can read to them, and then they can read to you. Help your child choose books that are at their reading level. In my classroom, I use the 5 finger rule: if you don't know 5 words on one page, then that book is too hard. Also, please remember to ask your child questions before and after reading, such as:
1. Look at the cover. What do you think this story will be about? Why?
2. Have your child take a picture walk before reading. During a picture walk, you only look at the pictures to develop an idea of what you think the story will be about.
During and after reading:
1. What do you think will happen next? Why?
2. Why do you think that character did that?
3. What happened in the beginning? Middle? End?
4. Where did the story take place (the setting?)
5. If you were a character in the story, what would you have done differently?
6. Can you make up a different ending?
7. How were the characters alike? How were they different?
If your child is having difficulty figuring out a word, you might say:
1. Can the picture give you a clue?
2. Let's skip that word and then go back and try it again.
3. What word would make sense there?
4. Look at the first letter of the word. Can you think of a word that begins with that letter and would make sense in the sentence?
5. Do you see any little words or chunks inside that word that you know (for instance, -at in the word cat)?
6. Blend the sounds together