9 Great Apps for Teaching Kids to Read

9 Great Apps for Teaching Kids to Read

Nothing excites me more than seeing kids reading books and teaching kids to read.  There are many reading websites for kids and now there are a ton of apps out there as well.  One of my favorite ones is Raz kids reading.  Here is a list of some of my favorite apps out there for the ipad.  Click on the video below to see more information about each of these apps.

1.  Kindle

2.  Raz Kids

3.  Kids Reading Logs

4.  News - O - Matic

5.  Reading Rainbow

6.  Story Botsstorybots

7.  Tick Tack Pippi Kids Speed Reading Game

8.  Epic Books

9.  World's Worst Pet Vocabulary

10 Signs of a Struggling Reader and What You Can do About it

10 Signs of a Struggling Reader and What You Can do About it

You may be one of those people that wonders if your child is struggling with reading.  All kids develop at different rates and each grade level has different
expectations.  Here you are going to learn what signs to look for and identify if your child fits in that category.  You will also have the opportunity to take a look to see what you can do for your child if she is struggling with that area.  At the end of this post there is a video of a call that I did teaching parents what they can do to determine if their child is struggling.  So here are the 10 signs to look for to determine if you indeed have a struggling reader.

1.  They ask you to read something for them.Young man fallen asleep after long reading

2.  They ask you how to spell a word.

3.  They come up with excuses not to read.

4. They read word by word.

5.  They can't answer questions about what they just read.

6.  They don't make comments when they are reading.

7.  They skip words.

8.  They slur words when reading and hope that you don't notice.

9.  They keep asking you the meaning of words.

10.  They read as fast and they can.

We are going to take a look at each of these specifically and figure out what the real problem is and what some solutions are to the problem.

They ask you to read something for them

Now asking you to read something is not a problem unless it seems like they are constantly asking you to do it.  The problem is, they are suffering from a lack of self confidence about their reading.  They don't see themselves as being able to accurately read what is before them.  So you will want to find out specifically why they are asking you to read it for them.

Ask your child why they need you to read it for them.  Is it because they don't know how to read certain words or because they need help understanding a concept?  You will want to delve more into it to determine that.

Another thing you can do is ask your child to read it to you.  That way you can listen to see what the problem seems to be.  You will be able to listen to whether they are struggling with a word or they have a blank look like they aren't understanding a concept.

They ask you how to spell a word

Kids that struggle with reading also struggle with spelling.  Spelling is actually a harder task than reading because it requires you to have mastered the phonics rules, which don't always make sense.  The problem here is also a lack of self confidence.  They don't trust that they can write the word correctly, so they ask you because surely you know how to do it.  Why risk being wrong, when you have the answer.  The thing is, you don't want to be their solution.  You can't travel around with them all day long to help them with their spelling.

So, give your child an opportunity to try it on their own first.  If your child spells it correctly, then you can congratulate her and build up her self confidence.  If it is wrong, then you can write the word the correct way next to it.  Then your child can look for the errors that she made and then write it the correct way.  To give some added practice you can have your child write the word an additional 5 to 10 times to begin to lock in how to spell the word correctly.

They come up with excuses not to read

One of the problems here is motivation.  Your child would rather be doing anything else in the world than reading and the thought of having to read sounds like pure torture.  Find out why your child doesn't want to read, by asking her.  Sometimes it is because they just haven't found the right books yet.  To find books that your child will love, you can go to www.goodreads.com and type in the search bar "3rd grade books".  Insert your child's grade level or reading level and find some books that other kids their age are enjoying.

Many kids love spending time with their parents.  Some like to snuggle, some like to be close by.  Whatever the situation is for you and your child, next time do it with a book.  You can simply read to your child or switch off from page to page.  This way you can model great reading habits and motivate them more to want to read.

They read word by word

Nothing can sound more monotonous than a child that reads word by word.  The biggest problem here is fluency.  We want reading to sound like we are talking and not to sound robotic.

Repeated readings of the same text can be a way for kids to break this word by word reading pattern.  There are some fun poems on www.gigglepoetry.com that you can check out.  There are also some poetry theater readings that you can do with your child that can help them with practicing a text for meaning.  Have your child perform the poems to other family members or call grandma and grandpa to listen to it.  The poems will be entertaining for your child, and everyone will laugh.  Making reading fun is a sure way to break that word by word reading.

They can't answer questions about what they just read

The problem here is comprehension.  A child can sound like he or she is a good reader, but not actually be reading to understand.  Being able to sound out words and read them correctly is only part of the reading process.  We want kids to be able to think about what they are reading and make meaning out of it.  A comprehension problem can be based off of not thinking about the words, but it can also be based on not knowing the meaning of words.  Pay attention to what the situation could be for your child.

As you are listening to your child read, have her summarize at the end of a page periodically.  This will give you an opportunity to see if she is processing what she is reading.  If she doesn't know how to do that, then you can model with her when you are reading books to her at night.  After you are done reading a page, then you can summarize what is happening.

They don't make comments when they are reading

As we are reading, we are thinking about what we are reading.  However a child that has no thinking going on during their reading is purely just reading the words and not comprehending the text.  As we are reading many different kinds of thoughts run through our head.  We make statements, such as, "Hmmm...I didn't know that."  We also make predictions about what is going to happen next.  We ask different kinds of questions, and we monitor our reading for understanding.  Lastly, we make connections.  We can make connections between the book and our life, other books, and the world.

This is where reading aloud to your child can help.  It gives you the opportunity to be able to model the thoughts that go through your head when you are reading, so that they can begin to understand what kinds of thoughts could be going through their head when they are reading.

They skip words

The problem here could be phonics or a lack of sight words in their long term memory.  Sometimes kids skip words because they don't want to take the time to figure them out.  Sometimes they are focusing on the next big word that they see.  If you notice that your child is doing this you can have her go back and read it.  If the word is too difficult, then you can help her break it up.

Sometimes though a word cannot be read phonetically, and it just has to be memorized.  To help your child memorize the word, you can collect difficult words on index cards.  On one side write the word.  On the other side you can write a sentence that your child comes up with.  Then you can practice the words that your child has difficulty with and increase her ability to read sight words.

They slur words when they are reading and hope that you don't notice

This is usually a phonics problem.  The child doesn't know the word, so they slur it to try to skip under the radar.  Talk to your child about the importance of reading the sounds distinctly.  This will help her be able to retain the meaning of what she is reading.  Also, make her go back to the word and read it again.  You can try to help her break up the word to read it, or add it to the sight word index cards to practice.

They keep asking the meaning of words

When this happens, the problem is vocabulary.  Your child needs to increase her vocabulary.  An easy way to do this is to speak to your child more.  As adults our vocabularies are much larger than our children, so the more they hear us talk, the more they pick up words and the meanings of words.  It has been proven that children who have parents that talk to them for longer periods during the day have a much larger vocabulary than children who do not.

Make sure to eat dinner together and talk about your days as a family.  Also, the more that you read to your child, the more words that he or she will pick up accidentally.  The more opportunities that you provide for your child to hear new words the better.  There has been no research that shows kids learn new vocabulary words from watching t.v., so limit tube time and exchange it for you time.

They read as fast as they can

Again, this is a fluency problem.  The child has gotten in their head that the faster they read, the better reader they are, and this just isn't true.  There are different times when reading fast is necessary.  For example, when you need to quickly skim and scan to find an answer.  However, to read as fast as you can just so that you can be done quicker has never proven to help out with overall comprehension, so have her slow down and really take in what she is reading.

Motivation could be another factor here as well.  So whenever you have the opportunity to provide choices for your child, you will want to do so.  Kids choosing what they want to read has always been a huge motivator to slow down and understand what they are reading.

For more tips on each of these signs you can watch the video below.  Is there a sign that you have noticed from your child, and you are wondering if they have a problem?  Let me know, and we can brainstorm some solutions that might help.

 

Highly Effective Readers Don’t Skip the Punctuation: The 6th Habit of Highly Effective Readers

Highly Effective Readers Don’t Skip the Punctuation: The 6th Habit of Highly Effective Readers

Well, it is that time of year again.  My kids are off to school, and I am excited to begin writing a brand new book.  I will be creating the book through this blog, and you will have free access to all of it’s content here.  This book/blog series is called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Readers and will give you information on what you can do to create an avid reader.

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Closely related to expression is punctuation.  Punctuation is like the traffic signals of reading.  If you skip a period or a comma all of a sudden things begin to not -attention-155554_640make sense and you become lost in your reading.

Highly effective readers sound so good when they are reading because they pay attention to the punctuation.  They understand that they need to come to a full stop when they see a period and that they need to stop quickly for a comma.  They also make their voice go up at the end when they see a period and use emphasis when there is an exclamation point.

Kids who are not highly effective readers do not always know to do this.  They read past the period and then begin taking breaths where there is no punctuation.  Then all of a sudden things begin to slowly not make any sense.  So the reader trudges on because they know they are required to keep reading.  They are not able to visualize what is happening, and they become bored very quickly and would rather pick up their xbox game than make their brain do so much work.

Here is an easy way to teach kids that are struggling with punctuation to pay attention to it.  Either in a book or a copied page from a book, have the child put two slashes (//) over all of the periods and one slash (/) over the commas.  Then have the child put an arrow going up over the question mark and a star over the exclamation points.  Here is what each of these marks represents.

// = knock two times

/ = knock one time

↑ = make your voice go up at the end

* = excitement

After the child has marked up the page, have her read it.  When she comes to the // she needs to physically knock on a table two times.  When she comes to /, then she needs to knock just one time.  This slowly begins training the reader to pay attention to what they are reading.

Often kids who do not read punctuation correctly will put punctuation marks where they do not belong.  For example, the most typical place a child will add a period is at the end of a line.  In simpler easy text, books are written with periods at the end of the line.  However, as a text becomes more complicated kids need to learn to go from one line to the next without adding a pause.  Adding a pause at the end of the line will cause comprehension issues for readers.  It is amazing how just one little pause can make the difference, but it truly does.

Another thing that you can do, without marking up the text is to just ask the reader to read the sentence again and stop appropriately at the punctuation.  Sometimes I will pose questions like, "What do we do at a period."  Then  the reader says, "Stop."  Then I say, "Great, try it again."  This a non-threatening way to begin getting kids to stop appropriately.  Some kids respond better to one way than another way.  So, it is always good to have a couple of tricks in the bag that you can use.  If one way doesn't work so well, then you can try a different way.

Have you ever heard a reader read without stopping appropriately at the punctuation?  How do you think this affected their reading?

 

Reading with Expression: The 6th habit of highly effective readers

Reading with Expression: The 6th habit of highly effective readers

Well, it is that time of year again.  My kids are off to school, and I am excited to begin writing a brand new book.  I will be creating the book through this blog, and you will have free access to all of it’s content here.  This book/blog series is called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Readers and will give you information on what you can do to create an avid reader.

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It is really fun to listen to a highly effective reader read.  You could listen to them all day long.  They make their voices go up and down.  They really get into the different characters and it is fun to see how they decide to change their voices.  When you listen to them you just love it.  Whenever I personally read people tell me that I sound like I am reading a good night book to them.  This must be because I read so many children's books on a daily basis.  I take it as a compliment.

These readers also sound flawless.  Absolutely flawless.  They don't seem to get too many words wrong, they sound like they are actually understanding what they are reading, and they sound like they are enjoying themselves.

-expressionJust as you can see the expression on this beautiful girls face to the right, you can hear the expression in these reader's voices.  Because of how well these readers read they get praised over and over again.  This makes them want to continue reading and showing off their wonderful skills.  Therefore, they are more confident than others and willing to take risks with their voices where other students would never dare.

So how can we get kids who are not highly effective readers to read with the same expression as fluent readers?

1.  Have them rate other readers and have them pay attention to how smooth another child is, their prosody, their accuracy, and their rate.

2.  Point out the great things that readers are doing with their voices already.  You can say something like. "Wow, I noticed that you changed your voice for the cat?  That sounded great."  It is important to be specific when you are praising children for their efforts.

3.  Focus on one area of expression at a time.  When you focus on too much, the child will get confused on what they should be paying attention to.

4.  Nod and smile when a child is reading.  They are looking for these cues from you, and they help to build their self confidence.

5.  Talk about how great they are reading in front of other people.  This will also help to build up their confidence.

6.  Go to www.gigglepoetry.com and click on poetry theater.  Read with a child some of the poems and switch parts.  Talk about why you make your voice sound a certain way when you are reading.

Nobody likes the sound of the robot that drones on and on when they are reading.  It is hard for people to understand you when you are reading, and people will tune you out.  This is one of the reasons that you want to use expression and motivate kids to use it, but even more importantly you can tell if a child is actually understanding what they are reading based off of their expression.  The more expression they tend to use, the more they are able to understand.

Of course, there are kids that will take this to the extreme, and this just sounds weird.  Some kids need to be toned down.  For these kids I tell them that if they wouldn't talk this way, then it doesn't make sense to read this way.  It is difficult for the people who are listening to you to understand what you are saying because they are focused on the wrong thing when you are reading. A healthy balance is something that is definitely necessary.

How do you sound when you are reading out loud?  Do you use expression or are you just trying to get through what it is that you need to read?

 

Highly Effective Readers Like to Read out Loud: The 6th Habit of Highly Effective Readers

Highly Effective Readers Like to Read out Loud: The 6th Habit of Highly Effective Readers

Well, it is that time of year again.  My kids are off to school, and I am excited to begin writing a brand new book.  I will be creating the book through this blog, and you will have free access to all of it’s content here.  This book/blog series is called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Readers and will give you information on what you can do to create an avid reader.

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Did you know that highly effective readers actually like reading out loud?  They like the way they sound when they start reading out loud, and they volunteer to read in class because they love to read.  What makes them want to read?  Well, for starters, they understand the purpose of punctuation.  Ask a kid, who is not a highly effective reader, what a comma is for and they will answer with, "I don't know."

Here are all of the things that a highly effective reader does when it comes to reading out loud.

1.  Raise their hand to read out loud

2.  Reads with expression

3.  Follows the rules for punctuation

Let's take a look at what is all involved with raising your hand to read out loud.  First a child that raises their hand to read has a lot of self confidence in their reading-raising hand abilities.  Raising their hand means that they are risk takers.  They don't sit and worry what is going to happen if they don't get the word correct.  They are confident that they will be able to figure it out and are willing to take a helping hand if they need it.  They don't personalize the mistake and use it as evidence that they are not a very good reader.  They realize that all readers mess up on words once in a while.

This is where the Matthew effect comes in.  Have you ever head of the idea, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?  Well, it comes into play with reading as well.  Since there are these readers that are highly effective and are willing to raise their hand because they are confident in their abilities, other kids will get less reading time in the classroom.

So what can we do to make all readers feel comfortable to raise their hand to read?

1.  Don't allow others to give away the word unless asked. Asking for help needs to be a strategy and not something that we do to readers who can't figure it out.

2. Have your child read out loud at home.  This can be done with a parent reading one page and the adult reading another page.  If you are looking for ideas on how to do this you can get 31 Days to Become a Better Reader: Increasing your struggling reader's reading level.

3. If your child messes up on a word, say, "Try again."  This doesn't make them feel bad, and it gets them thinking about the right word and what would make sense with any arguments.

4.  Praise the child on the things they are doing well when they read out loud so they can begin to see how well they really are.  When we are helping kids we have the opportunity to build up or tear down.  Focus on your responses on 4 positive things to every 1 helpful idea to improve and get better.  Kids who get too much criticism (as they view it) are less likely to view themselves in a positive light.

Kids that are already highly effective readers are already receiving praises for what a great reader they are.  So they don't need more praises, but kids that don't see themselves in this light do need it.

What kinds of things do you do help other readers build their self confidence in their reading abilities?

 

How Do you Know what to Teach Kids that are Struggling with Reading?

I get asked this question all of the time.  Well, even though each child's reading difficulties may come in many different forms and in different areas, I am able to look at how they succeed with the 5 pillars of reading.  If there is an area that they are specifically struggling with, then I provide instruction in that specific area.  I love being able to help all kids who struggle with reading and make it easier for them.  Most kids who I have worked with has had a strong desire to get better.  This makes instructing them extremely easy.

 

Here are more details about each of these pillars.  Does your child struggle in any of these?

 

 

The 5 Pillars of Reading Instruction

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Dyslexic Tutoring Student from Canada Makes a Three Year Gain in Less than One Year

When I started tutoring online, I honestly had no idea that I would be able to make as much of an impact as I do.  I have to say that each day I wake I up I feel complete bliss knowing that I am able to service kids struggling with reading everyday all over the world.  I even am able to offer dyslexia tutoring for kids struggling with processing sounds.

One particular student that stands out this month is a child that has dyslexia from Canada.  When I first met this boy's dad he had informed me that his son specifically had struggled since Kindergarten and that his progress was slow and delayed.  He was diagnosed with ADHD in grade 2 and has been on medicine ever since.  He has had evaluations both at school and privately and was diagnosed with broad based learning disabilities.  They were using Barton Reading and Spelling with him at school and his parents did activities with him at home.  They had hired several local tutors and had limited success.

His dad mentioned that when his son reads he guesses a lot and that his decoding ability is very weak.  Since reading was so hard for his son, it was difficult to get him to read at home.

When I first assessed him, his reading level was actually at a kindergarten reading level and he was in sixth grade.  My heart went out to this family that they had honestly tried everything that they knew to try and struggled with finding anything that would result in success for their son.

After working with this young man for 10 months an hour an 1/2 a week he is now at a  third grade reading level.  He does still struggle with decoding and seems to do really well with memorizing words.  He is able to read more words immediately, but gets frustrated when asked to decode.  To listen to this young man read today compared to what he was reading like 10 months ago is amazing.  There are times when I think, wow, how in the world did he get that word.  He reads for meaning, he understands what he reads, but it still isn't his favorite activity.

About 2 months ago when I was doing an assessment I noticed that he was reading very choppy.  I really wanted to improve on his prosody and i decided to do a reading fluency intervention.  So we began reading song lyrics and then using youtube with the lyrics to speed up his reading.  It worked, just like it has with all of the other students that I have used this method with.  It also increased his engagement.  He began getting more excited about our time together and made remarkable growth in the last 2 months.

I am so blessed to be able to make a difference in kids lives whose parents have tried everything.  I get to be a solution to a very big problem that they are struggling with, which is helping their struggling reader increase his/her reading level.  This really is an exciting vocation.  If you are interested in learning more about how you can become an online tutor then you can go to www.tutorpreneurs.com/free-videos.  If you are interested in finding out more about getting tutoring services from me you can go to www.theskypingreadingtutor.com.  I still have a few slots open for this summer, but they are filling up fast.  If your child is struggling with reading, don't wait to get help.  The longer that you wait the tougher the struggle becomes.  This could be the year that you start your child ahead of the curve instead of behind.

 

Day 29 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Fluctuation

Day 29 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Fluctuation

Have you ever heard someone singing a song at the same exact note for the entire piece?  Of course not, it wouldn’t be music to anyone’s ears if they did.  That is kind of what reading at the same tone is.  It is not music to anyone’s ears.  So, we need to make our voices fluctuate and go up and down like we do when we are having a conversation or singing a song.

 

We have all heard children read in the most monotone voice ever, with no feeling and grasping to get the words correct.  How good it feels when those kids add their own personality in their reading, but how tedious to listen to when they revert back to monotoneness (I made that word up, but it seemed to really fit here).

 

We have taken a look at stopping appropriately at punctuation and making our voice go up in certain spots with question marks and exclamation points.  Now, we need to take a look at the other places where our voices go up and down.

 

The first thing to do is examine your own reading.  Do you read like you talk or sing, or are you kind of monotone yourself?  Some people read with great expression and some do not.  While you are reading with your child, you really want it to sound more like a conversation when you are reading instead of just reading every word in one tone or note.

 

Our kids will model the way that we read.  It is amazing how when my first daughter started reading, she started with the most amazing fluctuation in her reading, because that is all she knew.  She listened to her mom read since she was in the womb and I don’t know how to read without expression.    I found that with reading with other kids, they tap into my energy very quickly.  If I am enthusiastic about what I am reading, then they mimic that enthusiasm in their own reading.  Modeling is KEY!  So being aware of your own reading is the first step.

 

The second step is to recognize when the child you are reading with does make his/her voice go up and down.  Praise him/her for it.  I promise you, he or she will remember what you are praising and continue to produce that for you.

 

The third step is to go back to highlighting the words that go up green and the words that seem to go down red.  This will make it visual for your child to see what is happening.  You can do this with an e-book or a book that you own.  For obvious reasons do not try this strategy with a library book.  LOL

 

Go ahead and make reading a musical experience for everyone’s ears.  Make your voice go up and down, and encourage your child when his/her voice goes up and down.

 

P.S. Go start your musical reading experience.  I am rooting for you all the way.

Day 28 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader: The Little Words

Day 28 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader: The Little Words

 

One of the biggest questions I get asked is whether the little words matter when it comes to a child’s reading fluency or accuracy.  For example, the words a and the are often misread for each other and some reading instructors and parents will make sure the child goes back and fixes that mistake.  The biggest thing to be conscious of is the needs of the child.  If the child makes frequent mistakes when reading, then my focus is not going to be on the little words that do not change meaning.  However, if when the child is reading and the word he/she has put in does change the meaning, then I will have him or her go back and read it.

 

Since I mentioned that you will want to take into consideration the needs of the child, I have listed 4 different types of children below.  Determine which child seems like yours and then follow the suggestion for whether your focus should be on the little words or not.

 

Child A – Makes few errors has a high self-esteem – Absolutely have the child go back and read the word correctly.  He/she rarely makes a mistake and it won’t hurt his/her self-esteem.

 

Child B – Makes few errors has a low self-esteem – This is a tricky one.  While this child does not seem to make a lot of mistakes, their self esteem could be affected.  You are probably better off not worrying about it.

 

Child C – Makes a ton of errors and has a high-self esteem – If it changes the meaning of the text, have the child go back and reread it.  If it does not, then don’t worry about it.

 

Child D – Makes a ton of errors and has a low self-esteem – Definitely do not  bring a lot of attention to it.  You can say, “Try again” in the nicest voice possible or focus on the bigger words that seem to be inaccurate.  Also you want to base it off of why the child is reading it incorrectly.  Many times our eyes are focused on the next word instead of the word that we are actually reading.  So a child may know how to read a word, but read it incorrectly because of where he/she is putting his/her attention.

 

This is definitely a case by case and situation by situation call.  You want to remember that if you are constantly pointing out all of the words that a child is reading incorrectly, they will never go back and try to read it correctly on his/her own.  Also, his/her self-esteem will eventually take a beating and push the child into a state of resistance.  If you have ever tried to teach a resistant child, then you know what I mean.

 

For today, just be aware if your child is reading those little words incorrectly.  Take a note of how you respond to it and then check to see if it seems to be on par with the suggestions from above.

 

P.S. It is really hard to change old habits, like constantly correcting our children when they read incorrectly.  When you feel like you want to correct them, but you know you shouldn’t, take a deep breath and picture your mouth closed with peanut butter.

Day 26 of 31 Days to a Better Reader Challenge: Fluency Rate

Day 26 of 31 Days to a Better Reader Challenge: Fluency Rate

 

There is no shortage of speed reading classes available in this day age.  In fact, aren’t we supposed to read as fast as we can so that we can get on with the next thing that we need to do.  Read, read, read!  Fast! Quck!  Hurry!  The quickest reader is the best reader, right?

 

This is the biggest fallacy that has ever been in existence.  We are always pushing ourselves to read faster and do more, but is this really the best way to do things?  How much can you actually remember when your goal is to read as fast you possibly can?  Not very much when you are reading non-fiction text, that is for sure.

 

Then we have the kid that is reading slower than molasses.  Come on, he surely has to speed up right?  Yes and no.  What you think is fast and what you think is slow is purely subjective.  So today I am going to shed light on appropriate reading speeds and give you a quick way to find out if your child is within that realm of appropriateness.

 

If your child is in his/her first semester of 1st grade or lower, then you do not want to worry about your child’s speed of reading unless you think it is affecting his/her comprehension.  When it comes to determining appropriateness for fluency the celebrity in the reading world is Timothy Rasinski.  He has spent his whole life researching and learning about fluency and developing strategies to improve children’s fluency.  According to Rasinski the following data includes how many words a minute kids should be reading by the end of the year.

 

1st grade 80 wpm
2nd grade 90 wpm
3rd grade 110 wpm
4th grade 140 wpm
5th grade 150 wpm
6th grade and above 180 wpm

 

The only one that seems to be a little high is the first grade expectation.  I have been using the number 60 wpm in my own teaching.  I have found that kids that are reading below 60 wpm need additional help with improving their speed.

 

So now that we know what is appropriate, how do we find out where your child is at? Well, it easy.  All you have to do is get out a timer and time your child for one minute.  After one minute you count how many correct words your he/she has read.  Then you can compare that number with the number on the chart above.

 

If you find that your child is below this number, then here are some suggestions for increasing his or her fluency rate.

 

  1. Don’t miss a day of reading.  Research shows that the more a child reads the naturally faster he/she becomes.
  2. Have your child read his/her favorite song lyrics.  Repeated readings are the number one way to increase your reading rate.  However, if you try to get a kid to reread a book you will most likely run into a very resistant child.
  3. You can do a my turn, your turn read.  First you read the sentence, then you have the child read the sentence.
  4. Download Reader’s Theater Scripts online and put on pretend plays.  When the child is practicing his/her lines they have to keep going back and reading them.

 

 

Over time you will begin to see your child’s reading rate increase.  However, it is important to know that understanding what one is reading is more important than reading quickly.  I naturally read slower when I am really trying to understand and grasp something and when I have a lot of background knowledge I find myself reading quickly and even skimming over things to get to new information.  On average the rates listed above are a guide and can clue us in that our child may need some help in this area.

 

Your challenge today is to take a one minute timed reading and decide if a plan of action is necessary to increase your child’s reading rate.

 

P.S. Don’t get disappointed if your child is significantly below where he/she needs to be.  Utilize some of the suggestions above and your child will be fine.

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