Guide to Elementary Reading Tutorials
Learning to read can sometimes be a struggle for young students, and may prove to be a barrier to further education. In the elementary school environment, learning to properly read is a crucial skill that affects all other areas of a child’s educational development. Students who successfully learn how to read and to comprehend what they read will have an advantage in interpreting and analyzing future schoolwork. Grade school level reading education is often times the first extensive exposure that kids will have to reading. This makes the elementary school reading education extremely important, as it will be the building block for all future reading and education. If a student falls behind early it is very difficult for them to catch up later. There are many different strategies for teaching kids to read and comprehend reading. The first step is for kids to recognize letters and sounds related to words. Next students will often build up their vocabulary of words until they can read simple sentences. Once students can read and understand words, they will need to begin to learn how to comprehend reading. This often involves simply reading a story or article and relating back what they have read. This type of work shows that students can understand the important parts of reading and learn from what they read. Rather than simply reading back the words involved, reading comprehension involves comprehending and identifying the themes, ideas, topics and meanings of what is read.
As part of an ongoing effort to provide the best resources on reading, and education in general, compiled below is a selection of links for helping young students, particularly elementary students, learn to read effectively. The following resources include techniques and strategies for teaching reading and reading comprehension as well as games, activities, worksheets and lesson plans for getting kids interested in learning to read. Selected links have been chosen to help aid teachers, parents and other educators in creating and structuring reading plans and strategies for elementary age children.
Basics of Reading
Learning to read can start at an early age, even before children begin to attend school. The earlier kids begin to read, the better it is for their educational development. With enough practice they will be able to read these sentences! The basic elements of learning to read involve learning letters, learning phonetics, increasing vocabulary and putting it all together to be able to pronounce and understand words.
- Teach a Child to Read – An online guide for teaching children the basics of reading. Includes information on common learning techniques such as rhyming and phonetics.
- Teaching Vocabulary Tips and Techniques – A large assortment of tips and techniques for teaching vocabulary to young students. Includes a good selection of exercises and activities for teaching the basics of vocabulary such as synonyms and context.
- Alan Cooper’s Homonyms – A list containing a large selection of homonyms for helping to increasing vocabulary and understanding of the English language. While this list might contain some large words, it is a good resource for younger readers.
- The Clarifying Routine: Elaborating Vocabulary Instruction – A guide for teachers to enhance their methods of teaching vocabulary. Covers the do’s and don’ts of teaching vocabulary along with some successful techniques.
- What is Phonics? – A basic guideline for parents who want to get an early start on teaching their children to read. Includes the basic rules and elements of phonics-based learning.
- Reading Rockets – A website full of resources for beginning readers. Includes strategies, guides and media for teaching children to read as well as a section on helping struggling readers.
Once children understand the basics of reading, they need to practice understanding of what they have read. It is easy for children to learn to pronounce words, but comprehending their meaning and association with each other is more difficult. There have been numerous methods, strategies and techniques for helping kids to achieve this important educational milestone. Below is a selection of guidelines, tutorials and tips for teaching reading comprehension
- Strategies for Reading Comprehension – A listing of common reading comprehension strategies. Includes instructions for each strategy and charts and diagrams for some of the more popular strategies.
- Literature Circles – An article by a teacher on her personal experience with the literature circle teaching method. Details how to organize and manage a literature circle, where students regularly read and report on selected books with the class group.
- 4 Blocks Literacy Program – The web portal for the award winning 4 Blocks literacy program, which is a form of guided reading. A collaborative website featuring lesson plans, resources, articles and mailrings from a large community of teachers using the 4 Blocks literacy program.
- Guided Reading Opportunities in Good Literature – Suggestions and advice for using a guided reading program to get kids to improve reading comprehension. Includes reading strategies for the classic children books; Shiloh, Holes, Autumn Street, Crabbe and The Birchbark House.
- 5 Main Types of Graphic Organizers – Graphic organizers can be used help students organize their thoughts about what they read and help in overall comprehension. The 5 types of graphic organizers covered here are web, matrix, tree, chain and sketch organizers.
- What Are the Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies? – A description of seven common reading strategies for comprehension of reading. These strategies are the core strategies that should be involved in any reading comprehension plan and include concepts like questioning, understanding and inference.
- Developing Reading Fluency – A guide to teaching kids to read fluently, the next step beyond word-by-word recognition. This approach will allow kids to begin to read by themselves and speed up their overall reading speed.
- Reading Fluency – A summary and analysis of the commonly used methods for improving students reading speed and recognition. Includes such topics and techniques as taped books, repeated readings and rapid word recognition.
Online Resources for Young Readers
Outside of school there are plenty of opportunities for young children to learn how to read. The development of the Internet has brought easy access to resources for learning to read into homes and libraries. The following is a selection of online games and reading activities geared towards getting young children interested in reading.
- First 55 – An interactive website for teaching young children to read. Provided by Montessori Home, this site focuses on 55 simple words for children to learn.
- Starfall Reading – A free, interactive online program that helps teach young children how to read. Contains 4 progressive sections on reading; ABC’s, Learn to Read, It’s Fun to Read and I’m Reading.
- PBS Kids Reading Games – A large directory of games for kids to learn about reading. Based on popular PBS Kids shows, these games are geared towards getting younger children interested in learning.
- Word Central – A website designed specifically for young readers by Mirriam-Webster. Contains interactive games and activities, featuring the popular Alpha-bot game.
Resources for Teachers
The Internet also allows for teachers to be able to access an enormous amount of reading activities, worksheets and other resources. Below is a selection of materials for teaching and implementing reading lessons and programs. These materials are primarily for elementary readers, but are created for various reading levels and abilities.
- A Compact for Reading – A resource from the Department of Education containing guidance and information for teaching reading and literacy skills. Includes lessons and activities for kindergarten through third grade.
- Elementary Reading Comprehension Worksheets – A series of worksheets for young readers to practice reading comprehension. All of these worksheets involve short paragraphs followed by a few questions about their content.
- Reading Comprehension Database – An in-depth resource covering the major forms of reading comprehension strategies. Covers the methods, organization and goals of each type of strategy.
- Reading Comprehension Worksheets – A collection of several volumes of reading comprehension worksheets. Designed for upper elementary students, these worksheets contain mostly multiple choice and fill in the blank style questions.
- Reading Comprehension Tools and Resources – A collection of various reading comprehension resources and tools for upper elementary students. This varied collection includes unique material such as plays, read and color books, reading bulletin boards, books for reluctant readers, science fiction reading comprehension and more.
- Reading Comprehension Passages – A series of reading comprehension exercises based off of historical and scientific topics. Exercises are organized by grade level and contain a series of 10 questions on the passage.
- Reading Comprehension PowerPoint Presentations – A listing of premade PowerPoint presentations that explain the fundamentals of reading comprehension. Includes resources and activities for teachers to use in the classroom as well as a few reading based games for kids to use at home.
- Super Easy Reading for ESL – A collection of 200 short story exercises for ESL readers. Each story includes an accompanying audio version and related questions.
- Learning With the New York Times – A regularly updated learning resource from the New York Times. Features news articles for younger readers and questions about their content to help students practice reading comprehension.