The students come across so many new words as they read that we have to make decisions re which words the students can work out on their own (without taking too long) and which words can just be ‘told’ to the student to keep the reading moving along.
The words that l ‘tell’ are mostly names. Ben and Sam are quite easy to work out but Sarah and Matthew are much harder. By telling the names, l am giving the student time to work out other words that have more valuable benefits, e.g. working out playing will be very useful when the student comes across plant, please and away.
Other words that l would probably ‘tell’ are nouns that have unusual spellings, e.g. photo, or words that are beyond the student’s capability at the time, e.g. fire engine, helicopter, squirrel, oven.
Do not think that you have to let your child struggle through every single word. No one enjoys that experience!