First Grade Students are taught that there are 3 ways to read a book:
- Read the book by looking at all of the pictures.
- Read the book by reading the text
- Read the book by retelling the story
1. First Grade teachers everywhere teach their children to look at the pictures as a strategy when trying to decode a word. When a child has taken the time to look carefully at each and every picture and tell a story just by using the pictures, the text makes more sense when it is time to read. (Parents take note: DO NOT COVER THE PICTURES WHEN YOUR CHILD IS READING – This does not help and you are hurting the reading process rather than helping the reading process)
3. Retelling the story is the 3rd way to tell a story and believe me, this IS the hardest for a child to accomplish. Parents, if your child cannot tell you in order what happened in the story, then he/she really didn’t understand what has been read.
Year after year I try to tell parents about the importance of reading comprehension, but when a parent is proud that their child is reading ‘chapter books’, they don’t want to listen. That is because I usually am telling them that the chapter books are not appropriate because their child cannot retell anything about what has been read. Parents, you MUST be actively involved in your child’s reading. Stop your child while he/she is reading and ask him/her to start at the beginning and tell you what he/she has read so far. He/she SHOULD be able to do this with ease and if he/she can’t they must start over and re-read. No excuses, this is what has to happen as we work together to teach these young children that we are reading for a purpose, not just to ‘call out’ words with no meaning attached.