In this article, we want to talk about how to help 4th graders with reading comprehension. Indeed, 4th grade is a big transition for students as they begin moving from just learning to read and understand. In fourth grade, students begin to read more challenging 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 skills seem to go down the drain.
Reading 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 improve reading comprehension, it is indispensable to use strategies that match their grade level. To get started on the right note, here are some reading comprehension books that can help your child to practice their 4th-grade reading comprehension.
How to Help 4th Grader with Reading Comprehension – 6 Simple Ways That Can Help
1. Assess Student Readiness
To help 4th graders with their reading comprehension, it is inevitable to understand their current readiness level and improvement. The thing is, not every student who gets into 4th grade is equipped to tackle the content of that level. Those who have not achieved reading comprehension from previous grades will need special attention before getting introduced to reading.
In your classroom, create a reading corner with a classroom rug and a big classroom bean bag chair or reading chairs and a bookshelf and make it open for every student to go there at their own time to spend some alone time with books.
2. Build Enthusiasm
Many children experience a 4th-grade slump more when it comes to an understanding of what they read. It is essential to keep your child or student interested in reading. It is achievable by allowing them to choose reading materials related to their immediate life or those interested. 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.
3. 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 primary goal of literacy. To help your student understanding tests, passages, and stories, it is essential to emphasize understanding the meaning of words that comprise any particular text. To build these skills, discuss stories with them. Teaching them about the rules of context and engaging them in activities that encourage them to sharpen their reading skills is also essential.
4. Reading Out Loud
4th graders might seem as if they are very advanced to read aloud. If the student is not ready yet, motivate them with animated stories. Vooks are a great tool to motivate kids to learn and to read stories interactively. It helps them a lot when making sense out of the text, passages, and stories. More so if they are finding it difficult to comprehend what they are reading. It 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 and how the writer uses them to build meaning. It should include connecting ideas, questioning them, visualizing, and 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, please focus on the story’s main idea and teach them how to predict the outcome in subsequent pages or paragraphs. To enhance this, prepare easy directions that the student will find easy to read and understand.
5. Increasing and Advancing Fluency
When children read aloud, they also improve and advance their reading speed, fluency, and ease of reading. Therefore, a 4th grader should read books and re-read them to younger siblings and narrate what the passages are all about. It 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.
6. Building Vocabulary
To build and improve your child’s vocabulary, you must teach them the meaning of words from all aspects and life areas. It 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. It will encourage and inspire them to use it too. It is important since research has established that comprehending a text or passage depends 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.
What Reading Comprehension Skills Should a 4th Grader Have?
Just like in 3rd grade, 4th-grade reading comprehension skills continue to focus more on comprehension. 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. It 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.
By ensuring that your child or student has the skills necessary 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 accelerate your child’s learning and comprehension of what they learn.
There are different strategies of how to help 4th graders with reading comprehension. However, by employing these strategies, you can bolster your child’s chances of becoming an avid reader.