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June 8, 2009

Posted by Nora in Uncategorized.

Tip #4:  Encourage Your Child To Read “Just Right” Books!

 As parents, it is so important that we understand our child’s reading level/ability, so that we can give them the books that will turn them on to reading!  Talking to your child’s teacher to determine “where” he is as a reader is a great place to start.  Once you know that, you can begin to find the “just right” books that will jumpstart your child’s reading progress and his overall confidence.

 Just right books are books that are neither too easy nor too hard for your individual child to read!  Just right books are ones in which readers know or solve most of the words with a high level of accuracy (above 90%).  They allow readers to read at a good rate with phrasing and intonation, but also slow down occasionally to engage in successful problem solving.  Just right books provide the context for successful reading and enable readers to strengthen their processing power.  They also enable readers to use knowledge of what makes sense, sounds right and looks right.  As a result, just right books both support and challenge your children because – like adults – children learn best when the task is well within their control. 

 Just think about how we feel, as adults, when we read a text that is very difficult (a legal document, a technical manual, a medical journal, etc.)  If young readers are struggling, they are unable to use what they know in efficient, strategic ways.  Children begin to think that reading is simply a matter of saying one individual word after another.  They lose the meaning of the text and may conclude that reading doesn’t have to make sense!  If we consistently give our children books that are too hard, they will become frustrated with reading and avoid it altogether. 

 The fact is that selecting “just right” books can make a huge difference in the rate at which your child progresses as a reader.  By encouraging your child to read just right books, you will help him gain fluency and confidence!  Just right books also build comprehension skills and overall independence.  Most importantly, the experience of reading just right books overtime, builds self-motivated readers who truly enjoy the act of reading.



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