The first grade is a critical time for children as they develop the skills they need to fully learn how to read. Since there is so much new information, many children struggle to get through this milestone at this age. Keep reading to learn more about 1st grade reading comprehension, and how you can help your child get over any hurdle in their reading lessons.
What are the common first-grade reading comprehension challenges?
Before your child gets a solid handle on reading, they learn a few independent skills such as phonics and spelling. By learning how to sound out a word, they’ll move on to developing a catalog of sight words before fully reading a sentence or passage. This phase is often where children will feel frustrated or slow their progress.
Children go through this process in their own time, but they often experience a similar set of challenges:
- Recognition vs. Comprehension
What is decoding?
Decoding is the child’s ability to recognize the sounds letters make independently and in connection to other letters. By sounding out words and phrases, the reader continues to build their mental library and the text becomes easier to read each time.
But, since decoding is the first step to understanding new words, it’s common for children to become discouraged and want to give up because it’s no longer easy.
How is reading recognition different from reading comprehension?
Once your child is able to pronounce the text in front of them, they’ll move on to the next step.
While sight words are great practice for reading comprehension, children often hit a plateau when they rely on recognizing individual words rather than understanding the meaning of the text. This is the most critical step in developing their reading comprehension skills.
Why is reading speed important?
After gaining an understanding of the material and the words that are being used, the reader will usually pick up speed in subsequent tries. Timing is another element that often creates a roadblock for readers.
By moving through the material too quickly, the reader won’t be able to pick out the key ideas but might get the big picture. Reading too slowly can cause the reader to fixate on insignificant details without processing the story as a whole.
Helping your child improve their reading comprehension starts with understanding what they’re struggling with. Then, you can create an effective game plan that will keep them engaged.
What are some 1st grade reading comprehension lessons?
Keeping the attention of your energetic first-grader might sound like a tall order, but there are a few easy ways to make their lessons more of a game than a boring study session.
Use a reading app to improve your child’s reading comprehension
Using a reading app to improve your 1st grade child’s reading comprehension is a great alternative to traditional pen and paper exercises. Just like their favorite video game, this teaching method uses interactive digital elements and AI to build a lesson that adapts to your child’s voice in real-time.
Reading apps are also easy to use and cost-effective, compared to other online educational resources. Plus, there’s no need for any equipment other than what you probably already have. Simply download to your mobile device, sign up, and start learning.
Help children read with verbal processing
Talking about the story is a simple way to help your child work through what’s keeping them from fully grasping what they’re reading. Verbal processing helps them work through their memories to connect the story from A to B.
Ask them questions about the key characters or the steps that led to the main point of the story to start off. You can talk about these elements before, during, or after your lesson to keep your child focused every step of the way.
Reread, repeat, and review
Repetition is a young reader’s best friend. New stories are fun and exciting, but running through the same story multiple times will help your child gain a much deeper understanding of the content. This is one of the most effective ways to study, and it’s been proven in nearly every academic subject.
But, rereading a story doesn’t have to be boring. Try the “popcorn” method of alternating between reading passages aloud, or give the characters funny voices for dramatic effect. You can always make the same story new again.
Your child’s reading progress becomes more and more important as they progress in school. If your child is falling behind in reading comprehension, there’s no need to worry. There are a variety of ways to improve your child’s 1st grade reading comprehension, such as downloading Readability onto your tablet or smartphone. Try this comprehensive reading app free for 7 days!