The Franklin Press
Literacy Links -February 2016
Early Literacy Skills for Young Readers
The question often arises,” Should readers point with their fingers while reading?”.
Early pre-readers often start by “retelling” a story as if the book has been memorized. As a child moves from this “pretend” reading to actual reading, finger pointing allows him/her to make many connections.
Using a pointer finger while reading is an important transitional skill for growing readers that helps early readers track their reading by pointing to each word as they read. This skill enables them to learn to associate the sounds of the letters in the words as well as to recognize words as a unit.
A child begins to associate the first letter s/he sees to the first sound of the word. Later, this skill will transfer to the endings and middle sounds. S/he also will become aware of spaces between words and how to read from left to right.
As a child grows as a reader, s/he also begins to recognize sight words, which s/he will use as “anchors”. These words become automatically read and help the child focus his/her attention on more difficult reading. This also improves fluency and comprehension.
Word-by-word finger pointing tends to stop when a child begins to use the beginning, middle, and ending sounds of words to solve them (along with considering meaning and syntax). At this point, finger pointing is only used when a child reaches a tricky spot in a text (much like adults do).
There are many ways to “play” while your child learns sight words. Two games which children enjoy are seen in the videos in this newsletter: My Pile, Your Pile and Sight Word Hopping. Enjoy playing these games with your children at home!
Literacy App of the Month - Sight Word Pro
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