Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
Young readers need to acquire good comprehension skills. In order to do this, they need strategies that help them fully understand what they read.
Here are four simple strategies to help your young reader understand and appreciate stories.
Prior knowledge involves helping a child recall what she has seen or heard. When reading a story about zoo animals, for example, a child should know that zebras have stripes and elephants have trunks.
Sounding out words starts with practicing consonant and vowel sounds. Then help her blend letter sounds, from left to right, to make words.
Making predictions is guessing or inferring what might happen next. For example, if someone left the cage at the zoo open, what might the animal do? What might happen next?
Visualizing helps readers make mental pictures of what they are reading. These visualizations make the reading more personal and easier to remember.
As a parent, you can support these four strategies many ways. Here are some examples:
Good readers read much and often! Combining these strategies, with many opportunities to read, helps your child make connections to stories…and these connections increase reading comprehension and enjoyment.