Supporting your Reader

  • When to help

    • The 3 second rule
      • When a child is stuck on a word give 3 second of think time before you jump in
    • Encourage children to use strategies they know to decode the word
      • Sounding out
      • Breaking apart by syllables
      • Looking at affixes and prefixes
    • Say it, spell it, say it
      • For irregular (or sight words) tell the child the word. To encourage the to say it, spell it, say it,“This word is because. Word?” Child replies “because.” “Spell because.” Child spells “b-e-c-a-u-s-e.”
    • Go back and re-read
      • When a word is difficult in the middle of a sentence have the child go back and read from the beginning of the sentence.
      • This supports fluency and comprehension.

    Decoding strategies

    • Look for sight words in larger words
      • If there is a known sight word within a larger word use it to figure out the word
      • upon: up – on, upon
    • Sounding out
    • Breaking apart by syllables
      • For stronger readers, they can chunk the word and sound out each syllable
      • problem: prob – lem, problem
    • Looking at affixes and prefixes
      • Read the base word, then add prefixes or affixes
      • louder: loud –er, louder

    If reading becomes a battle

    • Choose books together.
      • Often if the book is of high interest, a student will be more likely to read.
    • Establish a daily reading time.
    • Play literacy games together.
    • Use a timer for reading time.
      • Set the timer for 10-30 minutes, depending on age.
      • Once the timer goes off reading time is over.
    • Use a reward chart.

    Games to support literacy

    • Engage in literacy activities with board games
    • 4 Way Spell Down
    • Scrabble and Bananagrams
    • Tell Tale Card Game
    • Rhyming activities


    • Phonics Genius
    • Bob Books Reading Magic Lite
    • Sight Words
    • BrainQuest