Below is a list of reading/word games and some advice. We have tried to include the same terminology that we use with the children.
- There are lots of different ways to learn to read. The first and most important strategy is to ‘use your sounds for words that you don’t already know’. Even when words have a tricky part, they are usually enough clues from the letters in the word to make a sensible guess.
- Remind your child not to use their sounds for familiar, known words. (S)he needs to try to remember words that have already been learnt, or words that were sounded out earlier in the book and are then repeated.
- Some words can’t be sounded out (said, was, could) – children need to learn to recognise these by sight.
- Help your child to develop a sight vocabulary of very common words. These are the ones used so frequently that they are instantly recognisable (for example: the, said and were).
- Look at the whole word – for example ‘found’. Are there two letters that make one sound (a digraph). If so, remember these when sounding out the word. For example: f-ou-n-d.
- Still finding the word tricky? Does the picture help? Children should be encouraged to look at the pictures and discuss them. Children enjoy this. These help their understanding of the story and provide a simple context for the words they encounter when reading.
- Tell your child the word if they are stuck and have tried unsuccessfully to work it out for themselves. This helps keep a child motivated and make sense of what (s)he is reading.
- At all times try and encourage and praise your child. Acknowledge all success, however small.
More Advanced Readers
- If your child has used their knowledge of letters and sounds and is still unable to figure out the word you might ask him/her to miss it out and come back to it. Read on to the full stop then go back to the beginning of the sentence and have a sensible guess.
- Notice little words inside longer words e.g. tin. Read ‘t-in’ instead of sound out ‘t-i-n’.
- Ask your child if (s)he can remember any of the reading rules taught in class if they are stuck. For example, the split digraph. These words include cake, time, note, cube. See page 10 for more details.
- Get excited about words which are breaking the rules. For example, the words have and give break the split digraph rule and, therefore, become tricky words.
- Break words up into chunks or syllables e.g. sunshine. Read ‘s-u-n’ (sun) then move onto ‘shine’.
Year 5 Trip to London Eye Linking with the Book – London Eye Mystery