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Enjoy fun activities while learning new strategies to improve reading skills!

Team Up To Read is a free, interactive series designed for children ages 5-9 and their caregivers. Offering a bridge between school and home, the program helps build strong readers by improving reading skills like comprehension and fluency with tips and fun activities, all while encouraging a lifelong love of reading. Parents and caregivers learn how to use these practices to develop their children’s reading skills at home.

A caregiver and child read together

Over the eight sessions, we will explore the following ten reading practices:

Learning how to stop and ask questions is key to becoming a more curious reader. Before and while reading aloud to your child, stop and ask: What is this story about? Who is it about? What is happening? When you’ve finished a story, think about those questions you already asked—did you find the answers? Finally, a great question to ask at the end: What do I think about this story

Suggested Books

One fun way to develop curious, engaged readers is by doing something creative in response to a book. For example, ask your child questions about a story and encourage them to paint or write or sculpt their answers. You might also encourage them to perform a play based on the story, make up a song, or cook a meal the characters ate. If reading continues to be fun after you’ve read a book, your child will look forward to opening another book soon

Suggested Books

Knowing the words of a book is just one part of reading. To understand a story, it helps to know its parts: setting, characters, problem and solution. Encourage your child to identify the first three parts at the beginning, and then keep track of them as you go through the book. Ask—What’s changing? How does each part play a role in solving the problem of the story?

Suggested Books

Reading can be a personal experience, and your child’s background will help them understand a story. While they’re reading, encourage them to think about the things they know and have done. Using that knowledge, ask them—can you predict what will happen?

Suggested Books

To be a fluent reader, children need to master speed (how fast you read), accuracy (how right you are in decoding words) and expression (how you add inflection to words). Using puppets can help! Join your child in trying out different voices for characters and changing how fast or slow they read parts of a story. Then re-read the story with new voices, or use the puppets to re-tell the story from memory.

Suggested Books

There are so many different things to read in addition to fiction! Reluctant readers may not have found their favorite genre yet; maybe it’s time to give nonfiction or poetry a chance? Encourage your child to try reading strategies with informational books, too.

Suggested Books

Encourage your child to try the following tips when they encounter challenging words while reading:

 

  • Sound it out.

  • Look for small words in big words.

  • Cover parts. (Break word into pieces.)

  • Break in half. (Compound words.)

  • Look at the pictures for hints.

  • Think: Have you seen the word before?

  • Try to think of a rhyme

The “five finger rule” can help children determine if they are reading an appropriate book. Explain to your child that when they open a book to read independently, they may misread a few words. If they misread five words, then that book is not just right for them. Tell your child to keep count on their fingers when trying out a new book.
Knowledge of vocabulary helps support reading comprehension. When trying to figure out the meaning of unknown words, encourage your child to:

 

  • Look for clues about the meaning in the pictures or nearby words.

  • Think of related words (for example, enchant and enchantment).

  • Ask themselves—How does your knowledge of other words help to give meaning to the new word?

Comprehension, or making meaning of a story, is the primary goal of reading. To support this skill, encourage your child to make a “mind movie” by:

 

  • Listening to the words while reading aloud or by thinking about the story. Ask—

    What can you see or imagine from the words?

  • Piece their ideas together to create a mental image.

  • Connect the images and visualize a story movie in their heads.

     

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