While preschool teachers are adept at reinforcing new words to children, there are effective ways you can teach preschoolers how to read with ease.
Some strategies help children demonstrate their feelings and ability to learn. It offers a natural way for them to express ideas and understand concepts by engaging. They learn by watching and imitating situations in their surroundings.
So how can you implement interactions that can help your little learners to read? Here are 11 practical recommendations to help them learn how to read with ease.
9 Ways You Can Teach Preschoolers How to Read with Ease
1. Introduce reading at a young age
If you can remember, some old folks say teaching children how to read at an early age detriment their freedom to play. Well, there are tricks to make learning to read both fun and educational.
As children learn the value to read, their understanding of words used on particular occasions expands and helps them gain a better grasp of the meaning of words. Their curiosity allows them to express this understanding when they speak. This is also the beginning of them expounding the words to share their thoughts.
It can be challenging to introduce literacy too early. But there are no reported cases of it being harmful to young children. Besides, there are many benefits of introducing reading to learners when they are young.
2. Teach simple basic actions
If you’re a preschool teacher, you have all the opportunities to teach literacy skills and develop happy and smart learners. Children learn the basics of life like using glass, eating with a spoon, sitting on a chair, or playing with pets at home. They learn how to say “hello,” “please” and “I’m sorry” at home.
Even gestures and facial expressions form new words. For example, when introducing the word “happy,” you can do actions like smiling to convey jolliness. Here you can see that preschoolers quickly adapt to teachings.
Let’s say a student pushes a reading book to the side, it could mean that the child has no interest. In this situation, you can reinforce supporting actions and words that teach the child the word “later” or “again.”
This notion applies to teaching reading, too. Teaching literacy gives your preschoolers the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Children who have difficulty reading fails to understand some basic concepts, perform poorly in tests, and finds it challenging to meet academic milestones.
3) Read and read to them
Some teachers call this the “chicken soup” of all reading subjects. Reading to your preschoolers expands vocabulary and language skills. It forms a positive impact on their intelligence, imagination, and empathy, which later caters to literacy achievement.
If you read interesting stories, you will get them to sit still and quietly. So the more you read to them, the more they will develop the skill to listen, comprehend, and socialize.
Now, what should you read to them? Children are more motivated if they are interested in what they see and hear. You can let them select a book in the library. This way, you have an idea of the topics they are interested in.
There are many children’s books for learning to read. Go for those with wonderful stories of adventure. You can look for websites that offer free e-book download, or visit your local library for book sources.
4) Have them tell you a story
One great advantage of this activity is the opportunity to read and reread words. Short simple stories like “My dog named Storm,” “I have a fish,” “My grandpa’s gift,” “My new toy car,” are real-life experiences that children will like participating in.
Write it as the story is being told so you can read it aloud later. The purpose is to emphasize some words when you read each story. The more you do this activity and the more chances of rereading words also offer bigger chances for your students to recognize words such as I, he, she, like, love….etc.
Other than learning how to read, they also learn to spell words. Increasing children’s willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings makes them eager for more.
5) Talk to your students more
When you talk to children, it’s like sharing stories. Even in one sitting, you help them familiarize themselves with words and their sounds. You also let them value the art of listening.
All this is a learning opportunity that develops their ability to focus, concentrate, communicate, and interact. If you want your students to learn how to read, let them hear many language activities that can lead the child to speak and relate. Exposing preschoolers to a variety of words helps them develop literacy skills.
Use new and interesting words in your conversations. Introducing words in context helps children learn what it means. For example, it’s more fun for them to learn what a guitar is when they can see and hear it as well as listening to you say and act the word “guitar” to form it in their minds.
Talking makes a sounding out method in which kids are encouraged to absorb its meaning until they recognize the word by sound.
6) Build phonemic awareness
Children when learning to read, don’t hear the sounds within words. Even if they hear “dog,” they usually miss the “duh” or “guh” sound.
Think of language games to encourage play and help them learn to hear these sounds (or phonemes). Focus on one sound at a time. Sounds like /m/, /f/ /r/are great sounds to play up with.
You can exaggerate the sound of /m/ like “mmmmmmmmilk,” Look! “ffffffffar, “rrrrrrrabiit.” It’s easier to describe a sound by using your mouth to create the sound. Make practice fun and memorable. Once your child learns a few phonemes, it will be easier to apply the letter-sound skills to reading.
There are 44 phonemes. The video below will demonstrate how to pronounce each individual sound.
7) Listen as they read aloud
Reading sessions allows you to hear how the children read. You can evaluate a child’s reading ability. If it doesn’t sound correct, encourage them to read the words again, or read the words for them so they will try to read correctly.
Oral reading leads to a better understanding of what they are reading. Because they pay close attention to every word, children will find it easier to remember words than if they read them silently. Reading aloud also helps them build their reading speed, allowing them to read more advanced words with ease.
Listening to your young learners as they read aloud will help you determine how well they are reading and where they need to improve. Listen carefully so they don’t miss any words or pronounce them incorrectly.
If they keep missing, mispronouncing, or stumbling over words, the book may be too advanced. You need to find more age-appropriate reading materials. Oral reading is the best way to make students better readers.
8) Encourage them to write
Writing is one of the basic ways to teach beginners how to read. Typically, the first words preschoolers read are often the first ones they are able to write.
As they learn to decode the sound-symbol system, it also starts to build their confidence to attempt forming words through the sounds they hear. They learn to blend sounds, segment, and spell words in one purposeful activity. This is where they build confidence to read.
Reading involves working with the words and putting the words into writing paves the way for kids to head start to practice handwriting. Their written work represents how they have enhanced reading skills.
9) Ask Questions when reading
Asking simple questions helps young learners to engage and monitor their own comprehension skills. Other than it helps the reader to understand the thought of the topic, it also simplifies the text.
When you ask some questions, it creates a dialogue in the child’s mind that stimulates analytical thinking. To the child, the question is a challenge for him or her to recall some information in the story. It teaches children that reading is not just about knowing the sounds of words, but also involves remembering ideas, situations, characters, places, or events.
Early cultivation of comprehension skills will prepare your preschoolers for more difficult texts as they upgrade their reading modules.
To sum it up…
Learning to read accurately starts at a young age. It begins with excitement, good comprehension, and constant practice. Schools know this. That’s why they aim the early years of primary education devoted to teaching kids to read using methods they believe can engage the beginning readers. They believe that the more there is reading, the more it adds up to fluency.
When students find interest in reading, it encourages the love to convert symbols, codes, and letters into words. Children who read often get better at it. Accuracy in words, phrasing, blending of sounds, and speed development will come along.