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Building your child into a reader... Strategies and tips for teaching your child to read.

I am not only a mom to three kiddos, I am an aide in a kindergarten classroom. One of my most favorite things about kindergarten is watching them grow. They come to us barely knowing how to write their names and they leave us reading books and writing stories and sentences. 

Today I am going to share some strategies we use in the classroom as well as what I have used at home. Number 1 in my mind is read, read, read to your kiddos! I LOVE to read. I love to make up voices to go along with the stories. I love to watch them really get into the stories.

With my kids at home, they all started reading on their own with Bob Books.

These little books are perfect for their little hands and they are chalked full of sight words, rhyming words, and easy to read sentences. It's a great place to start. 

Once you move on to a little more advanced reading, we love going to Piggie and Elephant books by Mo Willems.

 They are also full of sight words and easy to sound out words and such FUN stories! Both in our home and in the classroom, I love to have different voices for Piggie and Elephant. I also really love to read one part, and have them read the other part. Piggies words are all in pink and Gerald the Elephants are all in blue. They make for some really fun reading time together.

Teaching kids to read is tough! There are so many words, sounds, and punctuations. Here are some great strategies to use to help them learn to read. I remember the first time I saw these strategies. I was wowed by them. They are referred to as beanie baby strategies, and they are GREAT! 

These are a few of my go-to-favorites.

Eagle Eye. You just look at the pics and use them as clues. Say the sentence is "I like to go to school." School is going to be a hard word for them to sound out, but chances are there is a picture of a school that you can say something like "look up at the picture. Where is the girl going? What do you think that building is that she is going in?"

We call it lips like a fish. You get your lips "ready." Say the word they are trying to figure out is bake. You get them saying the b sound first.

Stretchy Snake. Another favorite. Just stretch the word out sound by sound and see what you say. I like to do two different things with this. First, we stretch it out slowly together saying each part very slow. If they don't hear it right away, we start putting it together faster and faster till we are practically saying the word. The other thing we do in take those sounds and roll them together in a pretend ball of pay-doh in our hands then slowly stretch out each sound while pretending we are slowly pulling out our pretend play-doh in our hands. 

Chunky Monkey. I like to use chunky monkey once they are really getting into reading. They need to have a pretty solid base of sight words for this one to work... but when they do... it works great. Let's use the word from above "grand"... I cover up the "gr" and leave the "and" showing, once they identify that as and, we go back and make the "gr" sound... then put it all together.

Reading is so, so important. The parent and the teacher in me would love to hear some of the things you do with your kids. How are you working on reading with your kids at home? What's some things they do at school that has really stood out to them? Do you make it a point to ready with your child daily? What are some of your favorite learning to read books? 

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