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Tips to Foster Reading in 1st Grade

We have a BIG job as primary teachers! In addition to ALL the other subjects {and life skills we teach!} our most important job may be setting up our students for success in reading! In the early years, it’s necessary that we not only teach the basics {hello, phonics!} but more importantly, guide our students to develop a love of reading!

I always tap into the power of parents for this second part! Parents are always asking me how they can better support their budding reading at home. Below, I’m sharing some of my top tips you can pass along to families {and read till the end to grab a freebie to share with your families!}

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Read Together Daily

Establish a daily reading routine with your child. Choose age-appropriate books and take turns reading aloud. This shared reading time helps build vocabulary and comprehension skills. Plus, who doesn’t love a reason to snuggle while they’ll still let us 🙂
Need book suggestions for read-alouds?

Check out this post!

Create a Reading-Friendly Environment

Make sure your home is filled with books and reading materials. Designate a cozy reading nook where your child can curl up with a book.

Choose the Right Books

Select books that match your child’s reading level and interests. Ask for recommendations from librarians or use online resources to find age-appropriate books. Once you know the level your child is reading at, you can also take a peek inside the Scholastic Book Order and find books at his/her level. If you select a book, it will show you the exact level that each book is!

My favorite beginning readers {that are readily available for families} are BOB Books! They are short, phonics-based books that will build confidence in early readers, without any difficult text. You can find them online, at Costco, and even at some local libraries!

Another engaging set of books are The Yak Comics. They are phonics-based comic books that my son Luke loves to read!

Read Aloud

Continue reading aloud to your child, even if they’re starting to read on their own! This exposes them to more complex vocabulary and helps develop listening and comprehension skills.

Related Reading: Best Summer Read-Alouds for 1st Grade

Encourage Independent Reading

Let your child choose books they’re interested in, even if they’re slightly above their reading level. This can motivate them to push their reading abilities.

Visit the Library

Take regular trips to the library to explore new books and participate in reading programs or author events. Don’t forget to make a note in your calendar to sign up for their summer reading program!

Set a Good Example

Children often mimic their parents’ behaviors. Let them see you reading for pleasure, whether it’s books, newspapers, or magazines.

Need book suggestions for yourself? Check out some of my favorites!

Use Technology

Consider educational apps and websites that reinforce reading skills. Many interactive tools can make learning to read more engaging for kids.

Check out amazing online resources for books such as Epic and RAZ Kids. If your child has an account at school for RAZ kids, they will be able to log in at home, too!

Play Word Games

Engage in word games like Scrabble Jr., Boggle Jr., or word search puzzles to make reading fun and challenging.

Encourage Questions

When your child encounters new words or concepts while reading, encourage them to ask questions. This promotes comprehension and critical thinking.

Join a Reading Club

Some schools or community organizations offer reading clubs or book clubs for kids. This can foster a sense of community and discussion around books! I would have LOVED to do this when I was in first grade!

Janssen over at Everyday Reading has a fun blog to read to find tips for developing a love of reading in your family. She has great book suggestions, as well as fun coloring pages to make it interactive!

Celebrate Achievements

Celebrate your child’s reading milestones, whether it’s finishing a challenging book or mastering a new set of heart words. Positive reinforcement can boost their confidence and motivation.

Want to share these ideas with your students’ families? Grab these tips in a printable to send home! Click the picture below to grab this list!

Remember that every child is unique, and their reading journey may progress at different rates. Be patient, and supportive, and adapt your strategies to meet their individual needs and interests. The goal is to cultivate a lifelong love of reading!

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