Learning To Read Readers: Profile, Tips, & More

The PAWS for Reading program at the Tulsa City-County Library is ideal for children who are learning to read. 

Here is some general information about "Learning To Read" readers, what you can do to help them, and how PAWS supports their learning growth.

Learning to read involves developing a complex and sophisticated web of skills, including translating print into sounds and sounds into reading (decoding) as well as making sense of concepts, ideas, and narratives (comprehension). Beginning readers' brains are working hard! Not only must they sound out a word like d-o-g, they must connect that to what they know about dogs.

How PAWS for Reading Helps Your Beginning Reader 

In the beginning, reading involves using many different skills simultaneously. Because of this, learning how to read can be a difficult and frustrating process. Reading motivation is particularly important for this reason! (Think about it: don't you spend more time and effort on the things you are motivated to learn?) PAWS for Reading is highly motivating to most beginning readers because dogs are enthusiastic and sympathetic listeners - and happy to be with your child!

What You Can Do To Support Your Beginning Reader

  • Help your child "sound out" words by giving clues. When your child is practicing reading, give short clues about sounds: "in the word, 'C' has the sound like s-s-s-snake." You can find excellent, short phonics lessons at www.freereading.net.
  • ...but don't get stuck in the phonics wilderness. Remember that reading, particularly as your child gets older, is about comprehending what the words represent. When you spend too much time on sounds, meaning is lost.
  • Keep reading aloud to your child! Just because your child is beginning to be able to read to him or herself doesn't mean they won't benefit from you continuing to read to them every day.
  • Model asking questions and making predictions during reading. As you are reading aloud, stop to ask questions as well as make predictions about the characters and plot. You are demonstrating to your child how to read at a higher level.

For more information about the PAWS for Reading program, call the library at 918-549-7323 (READ) or visit the PAWS for Reading web page.

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