Learning to read can be an overwhelming feat for young students. Placing a book full of words in front of them can cause them to totally forget everything they’ve learned.
Our experience has taught us that when they’ve been eased into the skill, where they were given a chance to get comfortable with letters and their sound, they are able to better apply reading techniques. This requires building on the knowledge of students gradually, as they come to understand the way letters work together. We want to develop a love for reading and writing in our students, and that starts with Pre-K education.
Developing literacy in students involves the ability to read, write and understand what they are reading and writing.
Reading to children and allowing them to follow along and visualize the words as they are said is a gradual way to ease students into reading.
Students can get comfortable with letters and words and understand how a story develops. This also introduces the concept of pace, pronunciation, fluency, and sequencing. This develops what is known as print awareness. This encourages young readers to make a connection between the letters, words, stories, ideas, vocabulary, and the context of words.
Learning Letter Sounds
It is essential to teach letter sounds before throwing a student into reading practice.
Although there are many words that do not follow general phonetic sounds, begin with the words that do. As they develop their bank of letter sounds, words will become easier to read and the exceptions that don’t follow the rules will become easier to grasp.
You can practice letter sounds by playing alphabet ball. You can do this with a sticky ball against a whiteboard. If you don’t have access to these materials, place letters on a wall and use a normal ball. Students can then throw the ball at the letters and repeat the sound each letter makes. You can take this one step further and get students to name vocabulary that begins with the letter.
This is similar to Scrabble where you use letters to make words.
You can use magnetic letters or letter cards where you can encourage students to recreate words from their story, with the letters they have. This can also be used right at the start of the letter introduction. Children begin to understand that words are made up of various letters that make different sounds. Spelling and reading go hand-in-hand so this is a good way to develop the link in the learning process.
Sequencing activities teach a child narrative skill and reading comprehension.
Using cards with pictures, encourage students to tell a story by sequencing the cards. Let their storytelling skills develop while allowing their imagination to drive their stories. Having had the opportunity to tell their own story, they are then more likely to read a book with a different sense of purpose.
You can also make use of random pictures to encourage student’s storytelling and broaden their vocabulary use. They can create characters, give them personalities and names and then sequence their story.
Using fun and creative ways to develop reading skills makes things more memorable for young students. Reading confidence will carry a student throughout their schooling career and is, therefore, an essential muscle that needs to be developed. It is important though, to ensure that you ease children into the world of reading.
At Providence Children’s Academy, we’re a family-orientated daycare dedicated to laying long-lasting, solid foundations for our children. We provide pre-k education to stimulate their young brains at an important time in their growth and equip them with the skills they need going into their future levels of schooling. With these unique ways to integrate reading into your child’s life, we know they’ll have the opportunity to develop strong literacy skills.