At times, usually between the ages of four to six, many children begin to read. Watching a kid transit from a non reader to a child who can both educate and entertain himself with a book is one of the miracles and milestones of life, not only for the family but also the entire school. Here are some of the best practices in teaching reading.
For a teacher to successfully teach pupils how to read, he/she needs not only to avail explicit instruction but also to build word knowledge and teach skills and strategies for word analysis directly.
A teacher should know the students’ level of instruction so as to be able to choose materials. Reading should neither be too complex to a point where pupils can’t understand and benefit from it nor too easy. If the text is too hard for learners they, will not be able to understand majority of the words on a page. On the contrary, if learners understand everything on a page, there is no learning since there is no challenge. It is important to give learners short passages of varying degrees of complexity, to assess their level. This may take the first week of the class. Hand out a passage that is at the learners approximate level, then have a brief discussion, ask questions and give definitions to new words to find out of the passage is at the learners’ instructional level. In case it’s too difficult, adjust the passage and repeat the procedure till you get their optimal level.
Teachers should also routinely assess and monitor the reading levels as well as progress of each learner. This continuing evaluation directs and also informs instruction.
Begin the reading process early. It’s never too early to teach learners grasp concept of reading. Even for children between 2 or 3 years, reading aloud will assist them understand that funny little marks on the paper have meaning. Both parents and teachers are therefore encouraged to read to the children while they are still very young.
“Reading can also be taught effectively by writing in the sand, making letters out of Play-Doh, using pipe cleaners to make words and drawing on the carpet”, suggests Nancy who has a master’s degree in reading. With learners who are 3 or 4 years old, she says that half the job is getting them over the initial fear of reading by themselves, even if it means they just pretend to read by reciting a story from memory. In moments of frustration, always remind them that everybody can read the pictures. Take your time and sit with them and decipher stories page after page. If teachers make commitment to read to the learners and have them read to her every day, reading ability will be achieved with ease.
Learning how to read fluidly, accurately, with good comprehension as well as stamina is essential set of skills for success of the learner. Most schools know this. This is the reason why early years of primary education are always devoted to teach learners how to read.