How to Improve 1st Grade Reading Skills

November 20, 2020

How to Improve 1st Grade Reading Skills

It’s easy for kids to become lax on their reading habits. First graders are developing reading skills, and, for some children, consistent practice may be necessary to make sure they don’t lose proficiency.

Worried that your child will focus too much on games and fun and stop reading during those winter holidays?

how to improve 1st grade reading skills

Read While Cooking

Thanksgiving and winter holidays (like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) may mean baking up or mixing up special family recipes. Short recipes may be the perfect way to encourage younger children to read for fun, without them even knowing that the recipes are reading practice!

First graders might only be able to read simpler text, so parents can ask kids to read the list of ingredients or encourage them to try to read simple instructions. Need to head to the store to pick up extra ingredients and supplies? Ask children to help read the grocery list and find all those tasty items!

how to improve 1st grade reading skills

Create a Holiday Wish List

If your family celebrates Christmas, have children write up their holiday wish list. Collect catalogs or ads for children to find all the items they want to include on their list. If children believe in Santa Claus, parents can ask them to write their list as a letter to Santa. Have children read over their letter before they send it!

Plan a Nightly Time to Read Together

Parents may have an extended time to spend with children, thanks to the holidays. Plan a time each night to read to children or encourage children to read a story aloud (if they can read independently). Let kids choose their own books or theme the reading for Thanksgiving or upcoming winter holidays. This is a great opportunity to encourage children to read about the pilgrims! Or choose books that focus on holiday traditions

Take a Trip to a Bookstore or Library

While libraries or stores might not be open on Thanksgiving Day, the other days during Thanksgiving break might be ideal for browsing and helping kids pick out books. Let kids search for their own books; what they select might surprise you.

Depending on where you live, bookstores or libraries may have special guidelines related to Covid. To make sure you know current hours and policies, call ahead before visiting.

Create Realistic Reading Goals

Kids should still read regularly during break, but parents may give the clock a rest. Instead, set page goals. Or if the books are short, then set goals related to reading multiple short books each night.

Parents also can take the lead and read to kids. To make reading fun, choose a theme for each night. Not sure what theme to choose? How about gratitude! Have children make a list of five things for which they are grateful and read books related to one item on the list each night.

Play Reading Games

While books are always the best bet for reading practice, parents also can let children play reading games during the break for practice. Need to work on sight words? Take children on a sight word scavenger hunt. Have children write down their sight words, and then challenge them to find those words during errands or other activities. They can find the words anywhere: posters, signs, products, etc.

Parents also can download reading games. Just be sure to read the app’s details to make sure the game is a good fit for a child’s needs. Parents also can read the app’s reviews for more insight. If a game offers in-app purchases, make sure these are disabled so parents don’t get any surprise charges!

For children who need to work on comprehension, make a reading comprehension beach ball (or buy one). Write prompts or questions on each section of the ball, toss it to your child and have them answer the question or prompt that faces up.

Use a Reading App at Home

Parents can download a reading app at home to help kids practice reading during the holiday breaks. Before downloading a reading app, parents should research the features and benefits to ensure the app is beneficial and appropriate to the child’s needs or reading struggles. For example, Readability is appropriate for children who need help with phonics and comprehension.

An app also should advance appropriately for each child. Readability includes a built-in AI tutor that helps children correct pronunciation errors and also asks questions related to comprehension. Children will not advance to the next level until (and unless) they display proficiency. This ensures that lessons are never too easy or too difficult.

Since most apps require that parents pay a monthly fee (or, at least, pay for the app), look for apps that offer a free trial period. A free trial allows parents and their child to better understand features and benefits.

Interested in trying out Readability? Sign up for a free seven-day trial today!