4th Grade Reading Comprehension: Inspiring the Transition to an Independent Reader
Indeed, 4th grade is a big transition for students as they begin moving from just learning to read to reading and understanding. I mean, at fourth grade, students begin to encounter increasingly difficult texts. For this reason, it is a natural thing for teachers and parents to want to help their children and students avoid the so-called “4th-grade slump” when 4th grade reading comprehension seems to go down the drain. Though reading comprehension is the simple act of understanding and making sense out of the text, it is also more of an interactive skill necessary before, during and after reading a text, passage or story. To help and boost your 4th-grade child or student reading comprehension, it is indispensable to use strategies that match their grade level. To get started on the right note, here a few tips.
What Skills Should a 4th Grader Know?
Just like in 3rd grade, 4th grade reading comprehension skills continue to focus more on comprehension in 4th grade. Without it, the student will find it hard to handle other subjects in school. Fortunately, unlike 3rd graders, students in 4th grade have a much more advanced attention span. This helps them read better, fluently and accurately. Moreover, they have more real-life experiences from which they can relate what they read to make more sense out of it. By ensuring that your child or student has the skills necessary for them to understand what they read, you encourage independence, self-motivation, and confidence to keep them advancing their skills. The most important thing is to focus on fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, reading aloud and phonics. These are skills that will not only accelerate your child’s learning but also comprehension of what they learn.
Assess Student Readiness
Before you can help your child or student achieve 4th-grade reading comprehension, it is inevitable to understand their current level of readiness and also what needs to be improved. The thing is, not every student who gets into 4th grade is equipped to tackle the content of that level. I mean those who have not achieved reading comprehension from previous grades will need special attention before getting introduced to 4th-grade reading comprehension.
It goes without saying that many children experience 4th-grade slump more when it comes to understanding what they read. To avoid, it is important to keep your child or student interested in reading. This can be achieved by allowing them to choose reading materials that relate to their immediate life or those that are interested in. Teachers and parents can also encourage them to read by sharing their passion for literature. From this, they will understand the importance of reading which will keep them interested.
Focus on Comprehension
As students enter 4th grade, they have already developed basic skills to understand how words are pronounced based on the letters that they contain. But though this is important, it isn’t the main goal of literacy. To help your student learn how to make sense out of test, passages, and stories, it is important to put emphasis on understanding the meaning of words that comprise any particular text. To built these skills, discuss stories with them. Teaching them about the rules of context and also engaging them in activities that encourage them to sharpen their reading comprehension skills is also important.
Reading Out Loud
4th graders might seem as if they are very advanced to read aloud. It helps them a lot when it comes to making sense out of the text, passages, and stories. More so if they are finding it difficult to comprehend what they are reading. This will also come in handy if the passage or text contains different forms of dialogue and characters. Therefore, explain to the child about how characters develop in the story. Explain how the writer uses them to develop meaning. This should include activities such as connecting ideas, questioning them, visualizing and also determining the significance of each character and setting of the passage. Always remind them to use these strategies whenever they are reading. This way they can be in a better position to make sense out of it.
When reading aloud with your child or student, focus on the main idea of the story and teach them how to predict the outcome of the story in subsequent pages or paragraphs. To enhance this, prepare easy directions which the student will find easy to read and understand.
Increasing and Advancing Fluency
When children read out aloud, they also improve and advance their reading speed, fluency, and ease of reading. Therefore, a 4th grader should not only read books but also re-read them to younger siblings and also narrate to them what the passages are all about. This will eventually help them achieve speed and a fluid pace when reading. Studies indicate that the faster a student can read, the better their brain understands what the material is all about.
To build and improve the vocabularies of your child, it is imperative that you teach them the meaning of words from all aspects and areas of life. This should include fun activities such as social occasions and shopping trips. And if you don’t know the meaning of any particular word, make sure that the child sees you using a dictionary. This will encourage and inspire them to use it too. This is important since research has established that comprehending a text or passage depend on if the reader can understand the meaning of at least 90 percent of the words that make up that text.
And since memorizing words for some students can be a daunting task, make it simple for them. For instance, if your child understands better visually, help them create a handmade vocabulary book. They can use it as a reference when finding difficulties in understanding their meanings. Most children will find it easier to understand when using their artistic abilities. They can out pics from magazines and newspapers to explain words that they don’t understand. And it is not just for young students. Even older ones will find it handy when learning new words.
Helping your student achieve 4th-grade reading comprehension skills can be a daunting and intimidating endeavor. However, by employing these strategies, you can bolster the chances of your child becoming an avid reader.