Reading Tips for 3rd Graders

If your 3rd grader struggles with reading, it’s time to do something about it. Research shows that not being able to read well by the end of 3rd grade may lead to students not graduating or even dropping out of school altogether. Help your 3rd grader experience reading success with these simple reading tips.

1. Break it Down

One thing that keeps kids from comprehending what they read is the inability to understand how different words and word parts interact with one another. Break down the parts of speech to improve your child’s comprehension skills. Play a game such as Word Invasion to practice recognizing different parts of speech and learn the roles they play. Watch word videos about parts of speech or prefixes and suffixes to build more word skills.

2. Build Vocabulary

The larger vocabulary a child has, the easier reading becomes. Build that vocabulary through games, worksheets and other interactive activities. Use a game like Word Frog to learn about synonyms and antonyms or tackle tricky homonyms. Introduce your child to specialized vocabulary, such as ocean animals or dinosaurs. Then put that specialized vocabulary to use by reading a book related to the subject. Focus on vocabulary that relates to your child’s individual interests.


3. Make It Fun

A child who struggles with reading will not be receptive to much that involves reading. Incorporate word games, videos and fun worksheets as a way of “tricking” the child into practicing reading skills. You can use games as a reward as well.  If a child enjoys a particular educational game, use it as incentive to read.  For example, “if you read with me for 15 minutes, you can play your game for 15 minutes.” Not only will your child build reading skills during that reading time, he will unconsciously develop reading skills as he plays the promised game.

4. Use a Variety of Books and Tools

Instead of having your child play the same game or watch the same video over and over again, introduce your child to multiple games, videos and worksheets to build reading skills. The more tools your child has, the more skills he will develop and the less likely it will be that he will get bored with practicing those skills.

Introduce different books for the same reason. Each book contains a different voice, a different set of unique vocabulary words and different information to comprehend. Look for books of different lengths, on different subjects and at different levels. Your child’s problem with reading may be that he is not reading books that interest him or is attempting to tackle books that are too difficult. As your child builds his reading skills, he will also learn what books appeal to him.

5. Read with Your Child

While games, videos and worksheets will help build those critical reading skills, none of that matters if your child does not read. The more a child reads, the more his skills will improve. To ensure your child is actually reading, read along with him.  Take turns reading passages in a short book.  Ask questions as you read such as, “what’s happening in this section?” or “what did you think about what just happened?”  This will help you identify areas where your child struggles and give you the opportunity to spend quality time helping your child build his reading skills.

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