General Information

Below you will find some ideas to support your student as they improve their reading.

Read, Read, Read!
  • Reading takes skill and practice. One of the best and simplest steps to improve children's reading ability is to provide sustained periods of time for children to read.

Read like a writer.
  • Even in the early grades, children can begin to "get into the head" of the author. Reading improves a child's writing, and writing improves a child's reading.

Read a variety.
  • Children need to be able to read a wide variety of texts, ranging from road signs to restaurant menus, comic books to classics, and from tennis shoe ads to computer manuals.

Reading stamina.
  • To build reading stamina, you may wish to encourage your child to increase gradually the amount of time she reads at one sitting. Include short breaks, such as stretching or closing her eyes for a minute. Set individual reading goals based upon doing her best.

Visuals are part of the text.
  • Students are often required to gather information from photos, captions, drawings, charts, and graphs. You can help by teaching your child to look at all of these materials as part of the total text.

Text-based support
  • Help your child know how to use text-based support in written responses.
  • Most of the short answer questions on tests have two parts, or require students to explain how they arrived at their answers. Children will receive partial credit for answers to questions that are not supported with specific details or that do not contain an explanation.

Identify all parts of a question.
  • Teach your child to identify exactly what each question is asking. Some questions have multiple parts, which are often combined into a single sentence with a single question mark at the end. The child should underline each question word (who, what, when, where, why, how and any other words or phrases that indicate a question). By doing so, she can see if a question has multiple parts. Not answering all parts of a multi-part question is a common error.

Paraphrase test items.
  • Teach your child to turn questions into statements. The child may underline the question words (described elsewhere) and then turn each part of the item into a statement. For example, the question "Why did the main character play with the ball?" could be rephrased as "The main character played with the ball because..." This practice allows the child to phrase the question in a way that makes the most sense to him. He is then ready to read the passage and look for answers.