Tag Archives: help your child read better

Reading

Help Your Child Blend Words with this Hands on Learning Game

Is your child struggling to blend words together? Hands on learning game for Things That Go

Blending words is not what you think it is.

Knowing how to blend words is an essential reading skill. But if you thought blending words means seeing the letters c-a-t and sounding them out until you said the word "cat," then you'd be only half right.

Children who are able to blend words successfully also have another critical skill: they are able to recognize what a word is after seeing just a few letters. In the word "cat," for example, a good reader will know what the word is after the she sees the letter "a." While technically the word could have been can, car, or cap, a good reader will use context (and pictures, at this age) to tell her what the meaning is.

Good readers do more than just blend letterstogether.

In fact, most good readers never read an entire word, letter by letter: they recognize the word in its entirety after a few letters, and them on to the next word.

As studies that tracked readers' eye movements show, this allows them to read quickly, and fairly accurately, since they constantly check the meaning of the word from the context of the sentence as they go along.

Being able to determine what a word is when seeing a part of it is due to having good visual closure skills. You can help strengthen your child's visual closure skills by having them build puzzles, solve I Spy's or other hidden pictures, and by playing Spot the Difference games. A great site for hidden pictures is http://www.highlightskids.com/hidden-pictures, especially since you can adjust the level of difficulty.

Here's your free hands on learning game.

In a previous post, I gave you a free sequencing game for Goodnight iPad, a modern child's spoof on Goodnight Moon. In this post I've included a hands on learning game from the same online book site, based on the book "Things That Go."

The game is a great way to build up the skills that help your child blend words together.

Hands on Learning Game -Things That Go

Want 3 extra hands on learning games based on the same book?

By the way, if you're a subscriber, check you e-mail. I just sent you a bonus game based on the book, PLUS a few new ways to play the game included in this post. If you're haven't subscribed, subscribe by Monday Feb. 16 and I'll make sure you get your hands on one too...

Instructions on how to play are in the PDF of the game.


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Hands-On Learning Games

How to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension in 5 Minutes

reading comprehension gamesWinter break is coming up, and I’m betting a lot of parents out there are plan on working on reading comprehension activities with your child.

Improving your child’s reading comprehension doesn’t have to be a month long odyssey in Worksheet Hell.

Let me guess: you’ve got your fancy-shmancy workbook, assorted writing supplies (and you know there’s going to be a lot of writing; you may have lied to your kid but WE know better than that, don’t we?), and you’re raring to go.

Well, not exactly. Because when you put away the new workbook, you kind of happened upon the old ones that you really meant to finish someday. But this one will be different, right?

Wrong.

Improve your child’s reading comprehension in 5 minutes – or less

There are other ways of improving your child’s reading comprehension, with nary a workbook in site. Ways that your child will find fun, stress-free, and that don’t sacrifice one little rain forest tree.

And best of all, you can play this reading comprehension game in 5 minutes or less.

The goal: Help your child remember more details while they read

Many children with reading comprehension difficulties have trouble sorting out the chaff from the wheat. They don’t know what things they need to remember, and what things are relatively unimportant. So they end up trying to remember everything, which of course doesn’t work.

In this game, you’ll use a fun song to help your child focus on the part they need to remember.

How to play:

  1. Choose a song. If you don’t know the words, you can find them by doing a search for “lyrics for…” online. Choose a song both you and your child enjoy- no point in torturing either of you.
  2. It should also be a song with a refrain, but with more than two or three lines. Some examples: Yellow Submarine, and Don’t Worry Be Happy, are some examples of simpler ones that are fun and easy to use.
  3. Listen to the song a few times with your child. You don’t have to sit and concentrate on it, think-tank style. Just have it playing in the background while you go about your day.
  4. Once your child has heard the song about 2-3 times, you’re ready for the next step: the Challenge. In it, you or your child sing one line of the song, but leave out the last word. For example, in the Don’t Worry Be Happy song, you sing “Here is a little song I -  ,” your child needs to fill in, “wrote.”
  5. Continue your way working through the song until you finish it.

Bonus Points:

You can play this like a game show and give bonus points for top performance. For example, challenge your child to remember the key words at the end, without singing each line. So she would say “wrote-note” for the first couplet of the song. The more she knows, the more points she gets.

You can have them trade in points for a special night out with mom and dad, a toy they’ve been wanting to get (and you planned on getting them anyway – why not let them work for it?), or whatever else you want.

And that’s it. Play this game daily and in just a few days you’ll see a marked improvement in your child’s ability to remember details. And remember, the more your child plays reading comprehension games, the better they’ll get when they hit the books.

Free workbook optin

 

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