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Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
My son, a fifth-grader, is a good reader; however, he does not comprehend what he has read. He cannot tell you what a story is about after he has finished reading it. How can I help him improve his comprehension?
Reading comprehension is the number one reading skill you want your children to have. Your son does not have this skill, so he cannot be considered a good reader. Here are some things that you can use to help him improve his reading comprehension:
- Preview a story and then read it to your son, or have him read it to you. Before reading the story or part of a story, ask him to find the answer to a question about the setting, characters, or problems the characters are facing. This will help him learn to focus more on the content.
- Teach him the SQ4R study technique to improve textbook reading. This is explained in great detail under “SQ4R” on our website, dearteacher.com. It involves surveying what is to be read, writing questions to be answered, reading content, answering questions aloud followed by writing answers, and finally, reviewing what has been read.
Because this technique involves a lot of steps, your child will need to practice it many, many times to master it. However, if you use the technique with him, he will master it faster and quickly see the advantage of using SQ4R.
Math Help for First-Graders
My first-grader is having a difficult time handling addition facts even though she practices on drill sheets every night. I’m afraid if she doesn’t get it soon, her road ahead in math is going to be rocky. How can I help her learn math facts?
It is early still to give up on your daughter getting addition. What she needs is a lot of practice with real objects. For example, to illustrate the math fact 3 + 2 = 5, show her three coins and ask her to put down two more. The next step is for her to count the coins to get the answer. Then she should write what she has done as the math fact: 3 + 2 = 5.
Once your child understands what addition does, she is ready to move on to using addition flash cards. If she can’t solve a problem in three seconds, she should lay out the problem using coins or markers, or even count it out on her fingers or use a number line.
Much of math is learning and memorizing math facts, but it’s important to also understand how you arrived at your answer. Getting a good foundation early in school will help your daughter successfully master math.
Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask them at dearteacher.com.