Popular reading buddies

buddies3Reading buddies are becoming very popular! They were first introduced to help out with Reading Recovery homework when parents were unable to supervise it. Now there are a variety of reasons for reading buddies.

Some of our discontinued Reading Recovery students have a brand new Year 3/4 buddy to visit them first thing in the mornings. Every opportunity to read familiar books to a willing audience is very beneficial. The children enjoy the attention and ‘show off’ their best oral reading. The older students enjoy being much-wanted buddies who can share their expertise. But we don’t want to wear out our 3/4 buddies so they can opt in and out of offering their assistance. Some familiar faces have had a break and are now back for more. Thank you so much girls and boys. You are much appreciated.

Encouraging boys

boys reading

I was browsing the Oxford Owl website recently and l came across a video about encouraging boys to be interested in reading. After watching the video and reading the information on the same page, l came to the conclusion that all of the advice can be applied to girls as well. Click on the above link to take you to the video.

The main points are:

  • Praise your child in order to give him / her attention for positive reasons and be specific about what the praise is for.
  • Have genuine conversations that involve listening, asking questions and showing an interest in what captivates your child.
  • Expect some independence and taking responsibility from a young age.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Praise effort and let your child know that mistakes do not make you a failure. It’s how we learn.
  • Reading is for everyone including boys and men. There are many real life situations that require reading and it can be fun too.

Finger pointing

Here is a video of a lovely girl reading a familiar book, i.e. a book that she has read before.

She is reading so well that l want to take that pointing finger away!

Pointing has it’s place. I have written a previous post about Pointing to words or not? As previously stated, we do not encourage our students to continue to point once they are doing the one-one matching of voice and print because pointing generally slows down the reading and potentially gets in the way of maintaining meaning.

Pointing to each individual word can prevent the eyes from scanning ahead to see what is coming next. Scanning ahead adds to the meaning and context of the word currently being read / solved. It is obvious that this is not a problem for the girl in the video. She seems to know this book very well.

If your child is reluctant to stop pointing, and he / she no longer seems to need to doreading this, a compromise can be to run a finger along underneath the words. But it is best to remove the finger as soon as possible. I have my students firmly hold the book with both hands to keep the fingers occupied if pointing has just become an unnecessary habit.

Reading strategies

reading book1You might to download these excellent posters from Teacher’s Pet Displays to remind your child about some things he / she can try to solve words. Perhaps you could put them on the fridge or anywhere that they can easily be seen. You might display one or two at a time and frequently swap them.

The strategies represented on the posters are:

rs1I use the pictures to help me look for clues.
I sound out and blend the phonemes.
I look for smaller words hiding inside bigger words.
I can cut words up into syllables.
I use the punctuation to help me make sense of what l am reading.
I go back  and read a word or sentence again if l don’t understand it.


rs3I read on to see if l can make sense of a word l don’t know.
I listen to the words as l read them, to see if they make sense.
I look to see if the word looks similar to one l already know.
I imagine what is happening and create a picture in my head.
I ask questions that will help me if l don’t understand.
I know when I’ve made a mistake and l go back to try and put it right.

Click on the pictures to download the posters.

rs2A good reader has a purpose for reading.
A good reader thinks about what they already know.
A good reader makes sure they understand what they read.
A good reader looks at the pictures when possible.
A good reader predicts what will happen next.
A good reader forms pictures in their minds.
A good reader draws conclusions about what they have read.
A good reader tries to figure out new words.
A good reader keeps on practising.