There are lots of suggested strategies for helping a child figure out a word. For example, when a child stumbles over a word in a book, the advice is often given to say “look at the picture and guess what it may be.” But this strategy is rarely helpful and efforts on the part of the child to use it often increase, rather than decrease, failure.
Why? Well, there are very few words that lend themselves to a visual representation.
For example, in a sentence such as “After running around all day, the dog finally got tired” the only word that really could be “figured out by looking at the picture” is dog. That means when a child is on his or her own, the technique of guessing from the picture will not be at all useful.
Also the child has no way of knowing when looking at a picture might be of help. So what should you do when you child is having trouble with a word? Happily, the answer is simple—tell him or her what the word says.
Then ask your child to say it and following that, start the reading of the sentence from the first word in the sentence
Dr. Marion Blank, creator and founder of The Reading Kingdom program is answering your questions about reading and learning. To leave a question for Dr. Marion, visit the Reading Kingdom Facebook Page and let us know how we can help.
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