As most of you would know my son is in his first year of school this year. This has meant the arrival of homework in our house. Each week he brings home two books in his school reader for us to read together.
The books are designed for emergent readers. They have only one or two sentences per page, a limited vocabulary and illustrations to help the reader predict what the text will say.
When reading these books parents are encouraged to follow the words with their finger (or have their child do that) and encourage ‘reading’ from memory.
My son was initially very keen to for us to do this shared reading. But as the weeks went on he started to find the books a bit repetitive and the stories unexciting and he stopped focussing on the words as he ‘read’ the story he remembered.
What did I do to encourage him to once again focus on the text in the book?
We created the magic reading pointer. This is a pointer that he can use to point to each word as he reads and that ‘helps him read’. And the magic pointer made shared school reading fun again. Suddenly, my son was seeing words he already knew, words that looked similar, words everywhere. Who knew that words were so interesting!
We use a decorated (a bit of glitter did the trick) chopstick as our pointer, but any stick will do. I think some ribbons or feathers on the end of the stick would make a wonderful decoration. But if you need something really special to get your child interested perhaps you could try a laser pointer.
Having a magic pointer is so much more exciting than pointing to the words with your finger!