Listening to children read

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Moderator: maizie

Susan Godsland

Listening to children read

Post by Susan Godsland »

Maizie posted this on Thursday April 13th 2006

Whatever you do, don't discuss the story with them before you start reading (unless you are recapping on what the child has already read). You could ask the odd question as you go along about what is happening in the story, but if you interrupt too often the child will forget what is happening! Let the story tell the story!

1) Do not let a child guess any word
2) Do not let a child use the pictures to guess a word
3) Do not give a child any clues or hints as to what an 'unknown' word might be
4) Do not tell a child what an unknown word is
5) Ensure that the child reads the word exactly as it is written - don't allow 'missed' endings, such as ' ed', 'ing' or 'er'. Don't allow 'endings' that aren't on the word; for instance, children often make a singular into a plural. If they do any of these things make them read the word again.
6) Don't allow the child to give you any words apart from those on the page. Some children have a habit of making up the story as they go along! They read what they think should be there, not what is actually there.
7) If the child encounters a word they don't know (or misreads, as described above) make them sound it out and blend it. Help them with letter/sound correspondences that they don't know.
8) Check for comprehension. It can be surprising what language-poor children don't understand.

I always have a small whiteboard & marker pen handy when I am listening to children read. If they struggle with a word I might use another word that I know they know, containing the problem letter/sound correspondence. I write it, they read it, then I take 'sounds' away until we are left with the 'problem' one, which, of course, they can read. For example, child may be having a problem with 'bread'. They may read the 'ea' as /ee/ and not know, when asked, what other sound the 'ea' spells. I write 'head' (which they are bound to know) on the board, child reads it; I rub out the 'h' and they read what is left; then I rub out the 'd', which leaves the 'ea' spelling /e/ as in 'wet'.

How is your phonic knowledge? You need it to be able to help children with reading.