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Teaching Reading to Kids Who Are Still Learning to Sound Out Words

In the comments section for this week’s post on teaching reading I was asked how I would teach reading to children who are still learning to sound words out. I figured I would share my response here since this is a question we get fairly frequently. This is what I said . . .

I would do a few things:

1. Read with her on my lap and run my finger under the words I am reading. This can apply to any book and won’t help every child, but that’s not how I approach teaching. I try to approach each child with multiple means and let their natural inclinations come alive when I connect.

2. Read something simple like a McGuffey reader volume one or something parallel. This is the place for what I call a decoder and what publishers call readers. I do try to avoid meaningless texts, however. I want a story that involves a problem and a resolution.

3. Read fables and other short stories and pick out a few words that they can try to sound out.

4. Keep drilling, drilling, drilling with phonograms. This is what I love about Writing Road to Reading and its various support programs.

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