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Reading Help: Readiness Activities for K – 3rd

November 2nd, 2009

When do you start giving your kids reading help? When do you teach them reading readiness?

You would be amazed at the number of children I’ve seen over the years that have needed reading help that didn’t have a solid foundation of reading readiness skills.  This goes for children that are in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th grade. So, when I received the following question from Karen, I thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on reading help and reading readiness.

I just received a letter from Karen regarding activities for teaching her triplets.

Karen writes:

“My triplets are 5 yrs. old and in kindergarten this year.  One is a special needs child.  I could use ideas for teaching multiples.  There is no older sibling to model.  Also, trying to work with our special needs daughter and the others creates many challenges.”

Hi Karen,

I know what you mean about challenges – working with 3 kids at the same time and one of them being a special needs child can be difficult.

Here are some tips for working with  kids at the same time – whether they are in kindergarten or any of the primary grades.

I would pick a time to work with each of the kids individually – for 10 to 15 minutes so they get some individual time with you. While working with one of them the other two can be doing something like coloring or listening to a book on tape.

In fact, you can even read their favorite books into a tape – at a speed that is comfortable for them to listen to and then they can listen to you reading to them – following along with your voice – while you are doing some individual work/activity with the others. Then you are still being ‘present’ to the one/s you aren’t working with.

You might even set up a special spot with their stuffed animals and a large pillow where they get to listen to the books. So it winds up being the ‘special place’ where they get to listen to stories.

Also, I would do things like playing Simon Says, bean- bag toss, hop-scotch, or red light green light – games that are relatively easy to do with all 3 that would also work on listening skills and following directions.

You are at the perfect time for doing reading readiness activities with your kids. Remember, all kids need the following readiness skills in order to do well with school tasks. These specific readiness skills  are critical to being a successful learner. Reading help is lessened when these readiness skills are in place.

Readiness skills can be categorized into the following areas:

  1. Matching – objects and or sounds
  2. Size – small-medium-large; big-little; long-short; fat-thin
  3. Shape – circles, squares, and triangles
  4. Action – start – stop; slow-fast
  5. Position – top – bottom; under-over; forward-backward; up-down; inside-outside
  6. Relationships – same-different; parts-whole
  7. Configurations – patterns & sequencing
  8. Classifications – sorting objects into categories or arrange them into groups – by size, shape, or color
  9. Combination Concepts and Time – positions & shapes or positions and matching and time
  10. Listening & following directions (These skills are utilized in all of the above activities.)

Hope this helps.

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

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