We are excited to have these great teachers from Australia, Bangladesh, Japan and Cambodia share their excellent tips for helping children read and write. Enjoy!
Melinda Crean | Australia | Website: www.topnotchteaching.com
Primary school teacher, the creator and writer behind Top Notch Teaching blog. I also provide one-on-one specialised intervention in reading, spelling and writing to students diagnosed with dyslexia or who may have other specific learning difficulties.
Listen for sounds in words
This is a great activity to use with younger children who are just starting out with the concept of reading. You might say, “I see the ‘sun’, what’s the first sound you hear in the word sun.” Choose words that start with a sound that can be held, such as the /s/ in sun. You may also need to really hold the first sound to emphasise it to younger children. When children are able to identify the initial sound, then move on to try the end and middle sounds. Again, sun is good to use as you can hold the final sound to emphasise it.
Games are a fun and motivating way of consolidating and rehearsing what has been explicitly taught. Games could be as simple as eye-spy. You might say, “I spy a mmmuuugg.” The child needs to then blend the sounds together to tell you the word.
For more practical ideas to help kids improve the skills needed for reading, check out this article here.
Karli Lomax | Bangladesh | Website: www.creatingathoughtfulclassroom.blogspot.com
Karli is a first grade teacher.
Start a reading ritual with your child and practice it as often as possible!
Enjoy a nightly bedtime story, take a weekly trip to your local library, or celebrate special events by gifting your child a special book. Whatever ritual you choose, make it realistic to ensure consistency. Establishing a reading ritual with your child conveys how much you value literacy, and cultivates a lifelong love for books. Guaranteed, your child will fondly remember this tradition well into adulthood!
Help your child “publish” their own books!
Supplying children with loads of paper and writing supplies empowers them to find their voices as authors. Children have brilliant ideas to share! Encourage your child to tell stories through pictures and/or words, and then help them to create a construction paper cover to publish the final piece. Once done, your child may share with everyone in the family. Valuing creativity of thought over correctness will spark your child’s motivation to write and boost their confidence.
Takumi Maetsuka | Japan
Takumi is a Year 7-9 English teacher.
Start with a simple story book
It is important for children to read a simple story book to begin with. When they read a book, they should read it without dictionary. It doesn’t matter if they do not understand the story, sentences, and the grammar 100%. What’s more important is for them to learn to enjoy reading and have fun!
In my profession as a Year 7-9 English teacher, I help my students to be able to write in English. I would give my students some topics, which they personally can relate with. For example: topics about school life, club activity, sports, hobbies, friends and family. These kind of topics would help them to write easier in English.
Alison Wood | Cambodia | Website: www.pintsizedtreasures.com
Home-schooling mom of six children, former K4 teacher.
Pick a subject they enjoy to learn about
My oldest three kids did not have much difficult with phonics and desiring to read. However, my fourth child did and would always cry when it was time to read. It became a chore for both of us and I dreaded it everyday. But, one day we began to read Amelia Bedelia. Everything changed. She loved the stories and the pictures. Now she BEGS me to read. Choose something your child loves and use that as a tool to teach reading!
Don’t read and write for a few days and then take one week off. Stay consistent as they are building their foundation. A little bit everyday is a lot more productive then a large chunk here and there.
This article was featured in Kids Nation magazine edition #1
Photo credit: Sasin Tipchai