Reading together: Vocabulary and fluency...


Reading Tips For Parents To Help At Home -Part 3 -Reading Together, Vocabulary and Fluency...


**I love Dr. Seuss and my favorite character is The Cat In The Hat- I feel that his hat is not just a symbol for reading-but his hat is also R-E-D!  Let’s all be a part of R-E-D!







Reading Aloud & Reading Together-

    The reading report, .Becoming A Nation Of Readers  (1985)stated “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” 


     Reading aloud to children is essential in the development of phonemic awareness, the acquisition of a richer vocabulary, and the stimulation of creativity and imagination.  Parents and children can develop bonding rituals in the process. When parents read aloud to children they are demonstrating to children that reading matters.  Did you know that many parents stop reading to children after first grade?  All children and many adults enjoy hearing stories read aloud.  Here are some tips to help you with reading aloud, vocabulary, and fluency with children at home.


The Young Child:

Before reading:  (examples are provided)

 *Discuss the title, make a prediction:

 “What do you think the story will be about?

*Link the story’s subject matter to an experience:

“This story is about a cow, remember when we went to visit the farm for pumpkin picking and we saw cows?”

*Preview the pictures, take a picture walk and discuss what is happening in the pictures.


As You Read:

*Have fun with text! Use a funny voice.

*Consider Acting It Out using a reader’s theater approach

*Review what is happening, discuss the setting and characters.

*Ask your child to find a word or letter on a page and point to it.

* Ask your child to find beginning letter blends or specific endings in words.

*Ask “What do you think will happen next, why?”

*Discuss “Wow that was an interesting word that the author used, can you use that word in a sentence?”

For a younger child who is beginning to read:

* Read with your child slowly-this helps develop confidence with difficult text.  This strategy even has a scientific name the neurological impress method


*Practice reading by re-reading texts that are on-level or slightly below. 

*Review new vocabulary words. Discuss the definitions.


 fClick here for more on  above strategies.


After You Read:


“What was your favorite part?”

“I wonder what would happen if.......?”

“If you could be a character in the story who would you be?”


Vocabulary-Discuss interesting words, definitions.  Ask them to tell you a sentence using that new amazing word.


* Read with your child slowly-this helps develop confidence with difficult text.  *Practice reading by re-reading texts that are on-level or slightly below. 



The Older Child: (Try to use some of the above strategies with some of the higher level strategies below)

*Consider the use of sticky notes-use them to highlight key phrases, vocabulary words, or to use as a marker to keep your place.  

*Keep a list of particular words.  For example -  adjectives, interesting verbs, words that use a particular prefix or suffix, etc.

Go back and discuss:

*Ask “The author used the word _________ in this paragraph, ( stop & reread), what do you suppose the word means?  Can you think of another word that could be used?”

*Respond - “I like the author’s use of descriptive words when_______.”

*”I could tell the character was feeling_________.”

*”Let’s go back and see if we can find a clue in the paragraph to help us predict what might happen next.”

*What is the problem in this chapter/story?”

*How was the problem solved?”

*What would you do if you were in a similar situation?”

*Take turns reading paragraphs, pages, or entire chapters. (See echo reading below)

*Consider Books on Tape-many popular titles are available at your local library!


What is vocabulary?  There are two types:  Oral vocabulary refers to words with use in speaking and reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize in print.


Why is vocabulary important?  Beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they see in print.  Readers should be able to understand what the words mean before they can comprehend what they are reading.


Vocabulary can be increased just be talking with you child about many topics throughout the day.  use a variety of descriptive words for many items.  Discuss how items look, feel, taste, etc.  Using expressive words in conversation also help.  Consider using a new “amazing” word each day with your child.  

Instead of just saying “great job Ben!”  consider “Wow Ben, that was a spectacular jumpshot!  Your trajectory off the floor and alignment with the hoop was quite accurate!”   OK, so that may be a bit over the top, but you get the idea.


Here’s an neat link for vocabulary words: Type in the word and lots of pictures will pop-up to help you understand the word-TRY IT!  WORD SIFT!


What is fluency? Fluency is the ability to read aloud with expression and proper pacing (or speed) while retaining the meaning of text (comprehension & understanding).


Why is fluency important?  Fluency allows readers to more fully understand what they are reading.  It is most often developed through repeated re-readings of text and by the modeling of text by more fluent readers.



· Skim and scan the story and look for words that might slow the child 

  down.  Have the child pick out words as well.  Use your sticky notes!

*Practice reading the words and discuss their meanings.

* Continue to practice reading the same story multiple times.  

*Praise when expression and/or reading rate improves.  

*Build fluency  and confidence by re-reading favorite selections.



*Echo Read/how to:

· The parent reads a sentence orally.

· The child will follow the parent by “echoing” what the parent reads.

· The child repeats what has been read with the same expression that 

  the parent has modeled.

· This helps the child to both hear the words correctly before reading 

  them and to hear proper intonation and expression.

· Continue to practice this technique.

**Consider Acting It Out using a reader’s theater approach



 Vocabulary & Fluency Links:


Tips for Parents - Improving Fluency 


  Detective Shell’s Games & Puzzles for Improving Vocabulary


 Vocabulary Games & Activities


Websites & Links for Reading Together and Fluency: 

Recommended books for children 

Reading Is Fun 


Parent’s Guide For Reading Aloud


Links for determining appropriate reading levels-


Resources for Adolescent Literacy.