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Tips for Parents of Second Graders

Find ways to read, write, and tell stories together with your child. Always applaud your young reader and story writer!

 

Tell family tales.
Children love to hear stories about their family. Talk about a funny thing that happened when you were young. 

Create a writing toolbox.
Fill a box with drawing and writing materials. Find opportunities for your child to write, such as the shopping list, thankyou notes, or birthday cards.

Be your child's #1 fan.
Ask your child to read aloud what he or she has written for school. Be an enthusiastic listener.

One more time with feeling.
When your child has sounded out an unfamiliar word, have him or her re-read that sentence. Often kids are so busy figuring out a word they lose the meaning of what they've just read.

Create a book together.
Fold pieces of paper in half and staple them to make a book. Ask your child to write sentences on each page and add his or her own illustrations.

Do storytelling on the go.
Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in a car or bus. Try making the story funny or spooky.

Point out the relationship between words.
Explain how related words have similar spellings and meanings. Show how a word like knowledge, for example, relates to a word like know.

Use a writing checklist.
Have your child create a writing checklist with reminders such as, "Do all of my sentences start with a capital? Yes/No."

 

Tips for Parents of Third Graders

Read about it, talk about it, and think about it! Find ways for your child to build understanding, the ultimate goal of learning how to read.

Make books special.
Turn reading into something special. Take your kids to the library, help them get their own library card, read with them, and buy them books as gifts. Have a favorite place for books in your home or, even better, put books everywhere.

Get them to read another one.
Find ways to encourage your child to pick up another book. Introduce him or her to a series like The Boxcar Children or Harry Potter or to a second book by a favorite author, or ask the librarian for additional suggestions.

Crack open the dictionary.
Let your child see you use a dictionary. Say, "Hmm, I'm not sure what that word means... I think I'll look it up."

Talk about what you see and do.
Talk about everyday activities to build your child's background knowledge, which is crucial to listening and reading comprehension. Keep up a running patter, for example, while cooking together, visiting somewhere new, or after watching a TV show.

First drafts are rough.
Encourage your child when writing. Remind him or her that writing involves several steps. No one does it perfectly the first time.

Different strokes for different folks.
Read different types of books to expose your child to different types of writing. Some kids, especially boys, prefer nonfiction books.

Teach your child some "mind tricks."
Show your child how to summarize a story in a few sentences or how to make predictions about what might happen next. Both strategies help a child comprehend and remember.

"Are we there yet?"
Use the time spent in the car or bus for wordplay. Talk about how jam means something you put on toast as well as cars stuck in traffic. How many other homonyms can your child think of? When kids are highly familiar with the meaning of a word, they have less difficulty reading it.


From Reading Rockets (2006) Reading Tips

 

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