By Teacher Ravisara
What Is Reading Comprehension?
Reading Comprehension is a child’s ability to understand and interpret what they are reading. In order to succeed with reading comprehension, children need to decode their text and make links between what they have read and what they already know.
Reading Recommendations for Kindergarten:
When finding books for your children in kindergarten, it is important to have a few points in mind.
Use the five-finger rule. If your child makes five errors reading a page from a book, it is too hard for them. If they make one error, it is too easy. Four errors means the book is acceptable with help. The sweet spot for a ‘just right book’ are two or three errors per page. It is okay for children to read the same book multiple times, this helps them memorise the text, allowing them to familiarise themselves with the text which improves their reading fluency, vocabulary, and word recognition.
Play Kindergarten Reading Games:
Get your child involved in hands-on activities that improve their phonemic awareness and reading comprehension skills.
Roll Word Families
Start with two blank dice. On one, write word-beginning consonant sounds, such as b, s, t, m, p, and r. On the second, write word-ending vowel-consonant sounds, such as at, op, an, in, ap and et). Ensure that the child will be able to combine the beginning and ending sounds to create consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words.
To play, invite your child to roll the dice and read the resulting word. Some of the combinations will be nonsense words, but that’s OK. Nonsense words still provide practice blending sounds. If desired, ask students to identify which words are real and which are nonsense.
Send children on a CVC or sight word scavenger hunt through classroom books with a simple I Spy game. Ask them to search the books for CVC or sight words, then report back on the words they find.
Act Out Passages
Encourage students to act out a scene from a book they are reading. This fun, simple activity adds meaning to the words on the page and helps children focus on and visualise those meanings.
Use a preprinted sight word bingo card or fill a blank template with sight words or CVC words. Create a few different card options and give one to each student, along with marker chips. Call out the words one at a time. As students locate each word on their card, they will cover it with a marker until they have five in a row.
Teach Comprehension Strategies:
When your child doesn’t understand what they are reading, make sure to instruct them to:
Reread the passage, page, or paragraph
Look at the images for any clues
Rethink about what has happened in the previous pages or read what is going to happen next
If those tips do not work, work back to the five-finger rule to see if the book is too hard or not.
After reading a book together, have your child go over five retells to have a discussion.
- Characters: who was in the story?
- Setting: where did the story take place?
- Events: what happened in the story?
- End: how did the story end?
- Favourite character or part of the story
What are 10 tips for improving reading comprehension in Kindergarten?
- Give your child books they are interested in.
- Encourage your child to read aloud.
- Discuss books with your child, ask lots of questions.
- Encourage your child to re-read parts of stories especially if they have found it confusing.
- Ensure books are at an appropriate level for their reading ability.
- Encourage questions from your your child about new words & vocabulary.
- Encourage looking at the pictures for clues.
- Suggest using their finger to track the words as they read.
- Encourage lots of opportunities for visualising stories.
- Use technology to access different types of text when appropriate.
Overall, teaching reading is such a rewarding experience. When you hear your child put words together and read aloud to themselves or to family members for the first time you feel in awe and absolutely fantastic! However, we must keep in mind that there are various reasons why students may be finding reading comprehension difficult. As adults, we must regularly revisit the reading comprehension activities and strategies in order to allow your child’s reading comprehension to improve over time.