Sometimes children believe that reading is something that you should know how to do one day and not skills learned with years of practice!  Help your child become a reader by reading to, and listening to, your child.  You as a reader: Model fluent reading as well as reading like a beginning reader.  Think out loud so your child can hear your thoughts.



  • Tappy Turtle:  Tap out/sound out the words-tap each letter as you sound it out then sweep your finger underneath the letters as you say the whole word.
  • Chunky Monkey:  Look for little words within big words or “chunks” as you sound out words.
  • Flippy Dolphin:  When you come to a vowel, try the short vowel sound and then flip and try the long vowel sound.  Which sounds the best?
  • Picture Puppy:  Look at the picture to help you check for accuracy.
  • Cross Checking:  Does it look right?  Does it sound right?  Does it make sense?


  • Check for understanding: At the end of a page or two ask “Who is in the story?”  “What is happening?”
  • Spinner the Spider:  Spin the web of connections to self (T-S), text (T-T), and the world (T-W).
  • Questioning owl:  Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?  Good readers ask questions before they read, during reading, and after reading in order to dig deeper


  • Punctuation Penguin:  Slow down when you see a comma.  Stop when you see a period,  question mark, or exclamation point.


 Too Hard

  • I can’t read most of the words.
  • I have to reread a lot.
  • I read the story too slowly.
  • I can’t retell what I read.

Too Easy

  • There are no tricky words.
  • I read without having to think about it.
  • I read the story too fast.

Good Fit

  • I can read almost all of the words.
  • I think about the story as I read it.
  • I read the story at my own pace.
  • I can retell the story in my own words.