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Title 1- Mrs. S. Stebbins

With school officially back in full swing, challenges and frustrations are bound to show up from time to time. After all, EVERY student has struggles at some point in their educational career. One area that can be a struggle for students, especially after returning from a long summer break, is reading. Below are some links to help students strengthen their confidence with reading and become more fluent.

Sight Words




Sight words, words frequently used in books and other forms of communication, are words that students are encouraged to learn automatically without the use of decoding. They are considered mastered when a student can recognize them in print within a few seconds. There are many games and activities that you can do with your child to help them remember these words. There are also multiple lists (broken down by grade-level and parts of speech). One method I found beneficial for students at school is simply writing one word on a notecard. Creating stacks of notecards allows students to flip through them quickly to see if they know the words. Having words they know mixed in with words they have yet to master allows them to feel successful and allow for practice at the same time.

The links above give more detail on what sight words are, different lists for children of various reading levels, and games that can make practicing more fun. I truly believe that, when a student has a strong foundation in sight words, they feel more confident with their reading and become more fluent with their reading. Sight words can be found everywhere (not just in school books): menus, street signs, maps, grocery stores, newspapers, websites, etc. The faster that children learn to recognize these words, the more they will be able to absorb and learn.

Reading Comprehension




When a child reads, they may struggle to understand what they actually read about; they may be able to recognize and decode a multitude of words, but understanding the main ideas and/or making connections could be difficult. How do we help students develop their reading comprehension? READ, DISCUSS, READ, DISCUSS, READ, and DISCUSS! Understanding what is going on in a story, article, or other printed material can be practiced by reading with others and talking about it along the way. What’s going on right now? What just happened? Who is the main character? Who is talking? Where is this story taking place? 

The links above provide ideas on how to practice reading comprehension with you child and prompting questions to ask. If this is not your child’s favorite skill to practice, reading comprehension can also be turned into a game. Inflatable balls, old games (like Jenga), and flashcards can all be transformed to make reading comprehension more enjoyable. Remember, the more fun you make these activities, the more kids will want to practice with you and the more they will learn.

Reading Materials



When it comes to reading, kids do not just have to practice with books. There are many types of materials that can be used to help students become more confident and fluent with reading.

  • Magazines

  • Comics

  • Newspapers

  • Brochures

  • Catalogs

  • Recipes

  • Dictionary and Thesaurus

  • Play Scripts

  • Road Signs and Maps

  • Food Packaging (Cereal Boxes)

  • Blogs and Websites

  • Menus

  • Closed Captions on TV and Movies

Reading is reading regardless of where the words are found!

Sam Stebbins,
Sep 13, 2017, 8:33 AM