Reading Levels 2 - 5


this is where I want it

Supporting your child who is currently

reading at DRA levels 2 through 5

My personal goal for the All Day kindergartners is to have them reading at a level 6 by the last day of school. The standard, Level 3, is a MINIMUM.

Not all students meet my Level 6 goal – I admit it is a high standard.

If students do not meet that goal, it is incredibly important that they read daily – and preferably – they have someone tutoring them, during the summer. Why? Students tend to slip backwards a bit over the summer... if your child is at Level 6 by May, then they regain their skills easily... but when they don’t reach level 6, most students struggle to regain their skills during first grade.

I want first grade to be easy and fun for your child... so my goal is level 6 or above.

That being said...

The BEST way to prepare your child to be a reader is by reading to your


The BEST way to help young children develop reading comprehension is by:

providing opportunities for your child to read, write, and TALK about


Make reading FUN and SUCCESSFUL.

Frequent, short periods (think 5 – 10 minutes) of time work best.

Read familiar books again and again. This repetition allows

good strategies to become subconscious habits.

Always introduce new books TO your child until your child can take over and do  “picture walks” totally on his/her own.

Memorizing is an early part of a child’s reading development. It frees

the reader up to be able to concentrate on the changing parts of the

story. It allows for successful practice of these beginning strategies.

Pointing to the words helps train the child to really LOOK

at print. Students eventually start to notice when they point to the word “the” and say “my” which is how self monitoring begins. Once the ability to self monitir is there, and the eyes search for mismatches on their own, the child will automatically stop pointing to the words.

(Watch adults read... if someone reading the newspapre notices something wasn’t right they will go back and reread and you will see them automatically point as they search for the part they misread... )

Always encourage your child to use the pictures. Pictures are a primary source of gathering information. Good readers use every available source to help them read and understand.

***What do you do when your child gets stuck on a word?

Wait.    -   Give your child at least 6 seconds to think. (yep, it can be a painful 6 seconds... and it feels LONG)

If your child makes an attempt to predict the word then praise him.

If you wait and your child doesn’t attempt the word then go ahead and

prompt him to try these strategies:

“I saw you check the picture... did you think about the story?”

“Read it again... when you get to the word you are stuck on, say just that beginning sound and think of what word would make sense there.”

(I am teaching them how to do this. I ask which part is the hard part.

I cover up all of that word EXCEPT the first letter or blend, I make them go back to the beginning of that sentence and re-read. When they get to the hard word they just say the beginning sound and they keep on reading. It might sound like this:


The boy said, I like to j____,  do  you?

Usually the correct word immediately pops into their head if they are understanding the story.

Or... if the word is not going to be one that he will easily solve then

Do one of these two things:

either give him two words to choose from “do you think it would be rain or


Or, just tell him the word.

If your child came up with a word that was a meaningful substitution

(like rabbit for bunny, or dad for father) then you can just let the

error go - it will not effect comprehension... and COMPREHENSION is the

most important thing when reading!

If the new word that your child came up with doesn’t make any sense then prompt him by asking:

Did that make sense?

Did that sound right?

Try that again. Find a word that makes sense/sounds right here.”

OR just tell him the word.

Ask...  “Would ________ make sense here?”

After the word is worked out, or after you tell the child the word,

ALWAYS have your child go back and reread the sentence correctly. You want the last thing the child hears to be the correct sentence.

Always remember that “sounding out” (ie taking a word apart sound by

sound, letter by letter,) is the MOST DIFFICULT and LEAST EFFECTIVE

strategy your child can use. Good readers must know this strategy, and

know how to use it; however, the best readers use this strategy as a

last resort. Sounding out (or sounding “through” words as I refer to it) does NOT aid comprehension or fluency... it decreases comprehension and fluency.

Teach your child to use this strategy last - only when all else fails.

Good reading is MEANING based.

“Sounding out” causes lack of meaning.

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