How to teach kids to read is both challenging and fun. While preschool teachers are adept with this, 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. However, the ability to read does not come naturally. It needs careful instruction, understanding, and collaboration.
So how do kids learn to read and how do you implement interactions that can help them along the process? Here are 11 practical steps to help them learn how to read with ease.
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9 Ways You Can Teach Preschoolers How to Read with Ease
1. Introduce reading at a young age
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 helps them to express themselves when they speak. It becomes an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned whether on their own or with their peers.
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 can 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 find it challenging to meet academic milestones.
3) Read and read to them
Some teachers call this the “chicken soup” of all reading subjects. But reading to your preschoolers expands vocabulary and language skills. 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.
Children are more motivated by what they see and hear. Select picture books with attractive storylines. Use a document camera so they will visualize the pictures in the book like in real life. When a child has started to read independently, upgrade to books with a non-complex story. You can let the child select a book in the library.
There are many children’s books for learning to read. You can look for websites that offer free e-book downloads, 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 new dog is called Wufu.” “I like to fly a kite,” “My grandfather’s gift,” “Let’s buy some food,” 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
Children like stories so they will love listening to yours. You help them familiarize themselves with words and their sounds. This 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 the way children read and evaluate their reading ability. 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 build reading speed until they can read 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 gives a head start on spelling, punctuation, and other important concepts of reading. 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.
Providing regular opportunities to express themselves on paper also helps children understand the purpose of writing words. Their putting the words into writing paves the way 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…
There are different ways you can teach preschoolers how to read with ease. Begin with excitement, good comprehension, and constant practice. The more opportunities children have to write and read, the more possible they can reproduce spellings of words they have seen and heard.
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.