Teach Reading With the “Does it look right?” Prompt

“Does it look right?” is another important prompt or reading strategy that you can use to teach your child how to read.  

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What does it mean? Your child is reading a new sentence and comes to a word she doesn’t know. She makes an attempt and says a word that’s not quite right. With this prompt, what you’re asking is does the word on the page look like the word she just said or read? You’re teaching your child to check the word.  Are all the letters there to make the sounds that just came out of her mouth?
Let’s look at this sentence:
“Mother baked a tart for Grandma.”

tart

What if your child says pie instead of tart because she looked at the picture for help which is a good thing to do?
You can say, yes, it could be pie, but what letter would you have to see at the beginning of the word if it were pie? (Make the ‘p’ sound.) It would have to be a ‘p’ but there’s a ‘t’ instead. (Point to the first letter of the word and make the ‘t’ sound.) What could it be instead of pie? Could it be tart? Let’s check to see if the letters are there for the word tart. Say the sounds slowly, t-a-r-t, while checking by running your finger slowly under the word.
We do this all the time when reading. We check to see that all the sounds we’re saying are on the page. We’re checking if the word looks right. Your brain does this so quickly you don’t even know it’s happening. We have to show children how do this. Some children pick it up naturally, others don’t and we need to teach it.

What is the “Does it Make Sense?” Reading Prompt?

So, your child is reading along and comes to a word she doesn’t know. What do you do?  

Do you tell her to sound it out? Say the sounds?  No. You ask her what word would make sense here.
Children use basically three reading strategies when learning to read:
Does it make sense?
Does is sound right?
Does it look right?
The most POWERFUL  of these is the first one – Does it make sense?  Reading for meaning.

Mother and Daughter Reading Together --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

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Show Your Child How Books Work…

How a book “works” may be obvious to you, but don’t assume your child knows! 

There are some important features about books or print (words) on a page that you should  point out to your child as you read a book together. Teachers call these features “concepts about print”.

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Focus on one thing at a time. Do it casually, once or twice while reading a book. Do one thing one day, another one, the next day. We want to make reading fun and enjoyable for your child.
The following items might seem obvious to you, but don’t assume they are for your child.

Show. Point. Demonstrate.

The first 4 items can be introduced when your child is a toddler.

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