Monday, December 21, 2009

7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It!

Authors: Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins

Since I've been doing some posts on sight word games, I thought it seemed like a good time to do a book review on a book that deals with kids learning to read.

If you have kids or are a teacher, 7 Keys to Comprehension is a great book to help with understanding the reading process. Reading is a very important skill for children to develop because reading skills are used in learning all of their other subjects. My daughter’s teacher recommended this book to all of the parents.

I’ve always loved to read, so to me many of these tips seemed like they were something you would just automatically do, but even if you do them you don't necessarily understand what you are doing well enough to teach it. And many kids, often the ones who don’t enjoy reading, don’t naturally do these things.

This is a great book that helps you understand what happens when a child is learning to read, and it gives tips and advice on what you can do to help your child understand what they are reading and develop a love of reading. They have looked at what good readers do when they read and found that they are skills that all children can learn.
Being able to “sound it out” is only one part of what goes on to be able to read effectively. Even kids who can read aloud flawlessly sometimes don’t understand what they are reading. And if kids aren’t understanding or aren’t able to picture what they are reading, they aren’t going to enjoy it.

This book has tips for different ages in each chapter for teachers, parents, and working together. I found many of the teacher tips also applied at home so be sure not to skip those sections even if you aren’t a teacher.  From what I can see this book is most helpful for kids from preschool through elementary school, but there does seem to be tips and ideas that apply to all ages.

It also has some tips that you can teach your kids to help them know when they aren’t fully understanding what they are reading. And then some “fix up” tips to help them get back on track.

I try to read with my kids every night, and I’ve been using many of the tips in this book as we read. For example, many kids don’t make predictions about what is going to happen. If you don’t make predictions you aren’t as involved in the story. So as we read, the book suggests that you stop and ask “what do you think is going to happen next?” and then you read to find out.  It seems to be getting my son much more involved in the stories.

This book has been great in helping me understand what is going on as my kids are learning and improving their reading abilities.

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