The first grade represents an important and exciting transition as kids leave behind most of the fun and games of kindergarten and preschool and begin to learn academic-oriented skills. As your child transitions to a more extensive learning extension, it is not uncommon to get tired and bored, resulting in difficulties focusing and absorbing content. Well, that’s normal! Even so, the teacher needs to motivate the students to learn how to read. You should not rush and force their reading comprehension.
It does represent a crucial and essential part of their learning process and academic success, but if the child gets demotivated, the learning process will be even slower. Books for 1st-graders can be daunting and intimidating for a first-grader. Fortunately, there are tested ways to help them develop reading skills.
11 Ways to Help 1st-Graders to Develop Reading Skills
1. Find Books that they will Like Reading
Often, slow reading comprehension boils down to the fact that a child is not interested in reading. Statistics indicate that over 70 percent of students say that they would enjoy reading if they are provided with books they love. Therefore, evaluate what your 1st grader likes and ask them what they would like to read. After that, go ahead and find what they want because the secret to being an avid reader is a practice-an undertaking that is much easier when they enjoy reading.
2. Let them Read Aloud
When small kids, more so those in first grade, read the words out loud, it becomes easier for them to comprehend better whatever they are reading. Therefore, if your child is experiencing difficulties when reading, encourage them to read aloud that particular section or word they find hard to decipher or pronounce.
3. Skim the Headings
Skimming the headings of a textbook or a storybook gives children a high-level overview of their reading. The thing is, titles can help them get an idea of what they are about to read, giving them a sneak peek of the text’s main points before the actual reading process.
4. Re-read Sections they Don’t Understand
Revisiting sections or words that they find hard to read will help them get a vivid reading and learning picture. By so doing, the child will comprehend and decipher upcoming paragraphs and chapters in the text.
5. Use a Finger or Ruler
If the child finds it difficult to follow the text’s lines, use your finger or ruler to help them. This will come in handy for special needs children. Such as those with dyslexia who find it hard, separating sentences and lines of text when reading.
6. 1st Grade Reading Comprehension Means Writing Too
As your child progresses reading through the text, ask to write down words and phrases that are unfamiliar and those they can’t understand. After they have identified these words, let them check for their meanings in a dictionary. They can then find a way to use them in a sentence that they understand. After understanding what they mean, let the child make their sentences. This way, they can absorb the words and phrases better.
7. Discuss What Your Child Has Just Read
After the child is done reading, don’t just leave it there. Go ahead and ask questions about what they have read. For instance, let them explain what they have understood about the passage or text. If they are using long reading materials such as book reports and storybooks, draft discussion questions that both of you can discuss together after the reading session is over.
8. Recap and Summarize the Main Points
When discussing what they’ve just read, ask the child to recap and summarize the text’s major points. It becomes easier for them to understand and comprehend what the text is all about by explaining what they have read in their own words. This also helps them make sense of the text, referencing what they already know.
9. Ask Questions when Things Don’t Make Sense
If you notice that they are sections or parts that they have not understood clearly, let them re-read them and make notes. Your students may have a question when reading. Please encourage them to pause and reflect on what the text could be meaning. For all understanding issues, explain it to them or let them take it with the teacher once they get to school.
10. Identify the Best Reading Format
We all have to accept the fact that some children are not natural readers. They might not understand the text from a normal reading, but they can comprehend and decipher it better after hearing, seeing, or writing. If you notice that your child is finding it hard to read, experiment with different teaching styles. Incorporate them into your reading sessions. This can be writing what they’ve just read, visualizing it by drawing pictures, or hearing the words. The child should read in a suitable atmosphere. Provide a reading chair and a bookshelf with storybooks, which are assessable to the child at any time. To make it cozier, get a big classroom bean bag chair.
11. Identify Reading Problems and Take Actions
Always be on the lookout for any red flags or signs that your child finds difficult to read. I say this because he/she could be having a condition such as dyslexia, which is very common with children. It affects up to 5 children in a standard classroom. And though children with this condition find it hard to read, being assisted and guided can put them at par with children with normal reading abilities. In such a situation, please take the necessary steps to improve their reading comprehension skills.
12. Hire a Reading Tutor
Improving and refining your kid’s 1st-grade reading comprehension is something that you can do all the time, even from the comfort of your home. If your student or child needs extra boosting, hire a professional and dedicated tutor to coach and guide them.