First grade is often where your child’s reading foundation is developed thoroughly. This is an essential grade for your child to establish their reading level and progress. However, sometimes children might struggle as they try to advance their reading skills. If you find that your child is struggling with reading, you can help them by trying these 1st grade reading activities for struggling readers.
What reading skills should my 1st grader have?
Your first grader is definitely a full-fledged reader now! They already have many reading skills that they are continuing to improve and also acquiring new reading skills.
In first grade, they should be able to understand the basic structure and features of a sentence.
By now, they are also able to talk about what they have been reading and be able to answer content questions. Your child should also be able to understand the differences between fiction and non-fiction books and texts.
If you find that your child is struggling with any of these reading skills, they might need some more practice or intervention to help them get to their appropriate reading level.
How often should my 1st grader be reading?
When it comes to practicing their reading skills, first graders on average should be reading at least 10 minutes every day.
This might not seem like a lot of time but even just 10 minutes of reading time can help make a massive improvement in their reading skills. Make the 10 minutes a daily habit for your child like brushing their teeth.
Also, while 10 minutes is a good average number for all readers, struggling readers might be overwhelmed with anything more than that.
Some children might be hesitant or resist reading every day at first, but there are ways to make reading fun and an activity they look forward to doing.
How do you make reading fun for struggling readers?
Reading can be difficult for some first graders. It is important to be patient but also encouraging with your struggling reader. Here are some activities to make reading fun for them to get them to read every day:
- Read as a family – Reading as a family not only creates strong bonds, but it also helps to give your child a model for good reading habits. When they see you prioritize reading, they are more likely to value it and prioritize it as well.
You can schedule 10 minutes for everyone to read their own books together or you can choose a book as a family to read aloud.
- Read on TV – Using television as a reading tool might seem counterintuitive, but it is a great way to get your child to read without even knowing it!
When your child is watching television turn on the subtitles so that they can watch and read at the same time. This is a strategy commonly used with students learning a second language to practice both reading and listening skills.
- Visit a library – Get your child excited to read by going on a couple “reading field trips” such as going to a library. You can tour your local library and have your child pick out a few books to take home.
- Visit a museum – Another great “reading field trip” option is to visit a museum. Museums often have a ton of great reading practice opportunities, and you can also prep your child before the visit by reading an article or story about the museum.
- Talk to an author – What better way to get your child about reading a book than by talking to the person that wrote it?
While you might not be able to talk to J.K. Rowling, many children’s books authors have meet ups at local bookstores or you can ask to talk to them virtually through Zoom.
Websites like Cameo also have some authors offering to record personalized videos, so you can have an author create a video just for your child!
- Create reading goals – Reading goals can help your child see the progress they are making and helps to keep them motivated. You can help them visualize and meet these goals by creating a reading goal chart or tracker and display it somewhere they will always see it.
- Use a reading app – Technology is your greatest tool to help with your struggling readers. Try using reading apps such as Readability which acts like a private reading tutor for your child. They can get reading help whenever and wherever they need it!
- Get them to write – Reading and writing are closely related language skills. Often, good readers make good writers, and good writers make good readers.
You can encourage your child to practice their writing and reading skills by making comic books or short stories together then read them as their daily reading material.
First grade is a critical time for young readers to improve their reading skills and build new ones. Using activities and tools such as Readability can make reading fun and interactive for struggling or reluctant readers. Encouraging your child to read every day can help them to become a better reader and actually learn to enjoy reading.