Growing Readers Together

April Tips for Second and Third Grade Parents


Research tells us the amount of time spent reading is highly correlated with comprehension. One of the best ways to help your child’s comprehension is to provide lots of opportunities for reading. Encourage your child to read and help him/her develop a passion for reading.


You can have a brief conversation or discussion with your child about what he/she has read. It can be about the whole book or a portion of the book. Remember, it’s not a test. Have fun! Here are some questions that can guide your discussion or book talk:

  • What do you think the author wanted us to learn from this book?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this story?
  • What is the theme of this book?
  • What is the most important part in the book? Why?
  • What is important for me to know in this text? Why?


You can help your child notice and think about how the author organized the story and/or information. You can model your observations first. As your child begins to notice different aspects of the author's craft and text structure, you can use the following questions to guide your discussion:

  • What do you think was the author's motive for writing about the topic?
  • What words did the author use to help you connect your feelings to the topic?
  • How does the author help to create a picture in your mind as you read?
  • How do the illustrations/graphics enhance or support the message of the text?
  • What do you know about the type of book (genre) that helps you know what to expect?
  • Are different points of view presented?
  • How does the author organize and identify the information?
  • What words did the author use to get you interested in this book/topic?


Fluency is reading like we talk, NOT like a robot. Fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, expression, phrasing and appropriate rate.

A great technique to practice reading like we talk is with Reader's Theatre. Reader's Theatre is beneficial for multiple reasons:

  • Motivates reluctant readers.
  • Helps readers learn to read aloud with expression and appropriate pausing and rate.
  • Gives readers a reason to reread the text; therefore, giving them practice and improving the fluency.
  • Gives the reader an opportunity to hear another fluent reader.
  • Great way to include the whole family in reading.

Links for Reader's Theatre:

Aaron Shepard's Scripts and Tips for Reader's Theater at

Word Work


Working with prefixes and suffixes can help a reader read and understand words. Readers can learn to break the word into parts/chunks by separating the prefix/suffix and base word. It can also help the reader find meaning in the new word.

  • A prefix is placed at the beginning of a root word to modify or change its meaning. Pre means "before." Prefixes may also indicate a location, number, or time.
  • A suffix is placed at the end of a root word. It can tell you when something happened by changing the tense of a verb, modify the root word, or change the meaning.
  • A base word is a complete word.

List of common prefixes and suffixes:

Ideas for Practicing Prefixes/Suffixes

  • Use a disposable plate with three sections and label the sections “prefix,” “suffix,” and “base word." Cut up base words, prefixes, and suffixes and divide on the paper plate. Have your child put together different combinations to come up with words.
  • Encourage your child to point out words with prefixes and suffixes in their own books.
  • Write words with a prefix and/or suffix and have your child highlight the affixes.
  • Use a beachball. Write prefixes and suffixes on a beachball with a sharpie. Toss the ball back and forth. When you catch the ball: 1. Identify the prefix or suffix that your left thumb lands on. 2. Give the meaning of the prefix or suffix. 3. Give an example of a word using the prefix or suffix.