Supporting Common Core Standards
The English Language Arts Standards of the Common Core emphasize careful reading. Students will need to read texts loosely to ensure that they understand what they read. This is also called reading comprehension. You can reinforce your child's reading comprehension skills at home by following four easy steps. Help your child- Four steps to improve reading comprehension:
1) See the book.
Making pictures in your mind as you read is a wonderful way to improve understanding. Have your child read a sentence or a paragraph. Then have him close his eyes and "see" the scene. Can he tell you, in his own words, what he just read? Ask him questions like: "Where does the main character live?" "What do you think the place looks like?"
2) Make predictions.
Good readers constantly ask themselves what they think will happen next. This is one way your child can stay focused on what she is reading. Ask her questions like: "You finished the first chapter. What do you think is going to happen in the next one?" "How do you think the book will end?"
3) Make connections.
A connection happens when your child reads something that reminds him of something he has experienced, learned or read before. When the reading material is meaningful to him, it will allow him think about it more closely. Teach your child to ask himself, "Is this in any way familiar?" Ask him questions such as: "The boy on the cover of the book looks about your age. Does he do any of the same things you like to do?" "Have you ever felt like that?" Would you have done what this character did? Why or why not?" "How might you have handled this situation differently?"
4) Ask more questions.
Your child isn't finished once she reads the last page. Help her reflect on what she has just read by asking her questions such as: "What was your mood after you finished the story? Do you think that was what the author wanted? Why?" "Of all the things that happened in the story, which one did you think was the most important? Why?" "Who do you think were the main characters (most important people) in the story? Do you think you were supposed to learn something from what happened to them? What were you supposed to learn?" "Did you ever get the feeling the author wanted to change your mind about anything? If so, what? Did it work?"