Mrs. Helmuth's Reading Room

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

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You will find resources here for activities to help your child practice reading at home!

Sometimes I will also share projects your children have worked on in the Reading Room.

Vocabulary Boosters

A large vocabulary can turn your child into a better reader and writer. Try these everyday ways to help your child learn new words:

  • Keep your ears open-- When you go places, point out words that people use. Maybe a waiter describes an entree or the dentist talks about molars. Encourage your child to figure out what they mean by the way they're used.
  • Go beyond nouns-- Help your child add verbs and adjectives to his/ her vocabulary. Sports and games offer opportunities to use action words. Let your child hear you comment on the softball that soars or the runner who sprints. Encourage your child to use describing words like a fantastic birthday or polka-dot shirt.

Comprehension questions you can ask when your child has finished reading a book OR when you have finished reading aloud to your child.

** What was the problem in the story?

** Has was the problem solved in the end (solution)?

** Why do you think the author chose this title for the book?

** Who were the main characters in the story?

** What was the setting in the story?

** What was your favorite part of the story? Find it and read it to me.

** Does this story remind you of something in your life (text-to-self connection)?

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Hints for Reading with your Child

After your child reads a book to you, ask them to talk to you about it. These conversations are just as important as the reading itself. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What did you notice?
  • Were there any tricky parts? How did you get through them?
  • Does this book remind you of anything?
  • What have you been wondering as you read?
  • Does this book make you think of anything else you've read?
  • What was your favorite part? Why?
  • Was there a part of the book that surprised you? Why?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this book?
  • What are you going to read next? How did you decide?

PALS-- The PALS office from UVa offers monthly activities for parents to do with their children at home.

More resources for parents: