Gold Level - beginning to read alone
Now that your child is developing their skills, they are ready to begin reading independently, and with your support and encouragement, you can watch them grow in reading fluency and confidence.
By this Gold Level (6-8 years), your child is likely to
• Be able to read most words without needing to stop and break them down into sound parts.
• Read smoothly and with expression.
• Self-correct when a word or sentence doesn’t sound right.
For many children, reading is something they’re called on to do regularly and it can be a challenge, but adult participation can make it so much more motivating and interesting. Here are a few ways you can encourage a reader who has moved onto Gold level.
1. Encourage the flow
Now they’ve reached this level, it’s onwards and upwards. Using the visually exciting Gold Level books about bugs, birds and animals, your child will be tackling longer sentences with an ever-increasing vocabulary.
At this stage, encourage your child to read aloud to you – this helps develop their reading skills, and gives them a reason to read, as well as practice for reading fluently.
2. Becoming fluent
Fluency is the ability to read the text quickly and accurately, thinking less about the words and more about their meaning. This is a very exciting stage in a child’s development: not only are they learning to read at this stage, they’re also reading to learn. The sentences in Gold Level Readers are written in manageable chunks for your child so they can develop their fluency.
Encourage them to read a complete sentence without pausing, taking a breath once they reach the full stop. Help them develop how their voice can vary by naturally rising and falling as they read by demonstrating how to do this yourself. Reading is a way of communicating, just like talking, so a varied tone draws in the listener.
3. Read for meaning
When your child is at a stage where they’re not stumbling over too many words, shift the focus to finding out if they understand what they are reading about. This is where a lifetime love for reading can be nurtured.
You’ll know if your child is responding to the text because they’ll self-correct, vary their voice, and want to chat about what they are reading, or be eager to turn the page to find out what will happen next.
At a suitable point after your child has read a few pages, take a moment to discuss the information to make sure they understand what they’re reading.
The questions you could ask may be about:
• recalling specific details
• asking for their opinion about the passage
• picking out words to see if they understand their meaning
• finding out what has grabbed their interest
Praise your child on their responses and share your thoughts about the passage too.
A few additional tips
* Read aloud to your child to demonstrate fluency, expression and for enjoyment.
* Encourage your child to re-read favourite texts to increase reading confidence and fluency.
* Let your child read a range of different genres, such as poems, jokes, and following instructions for recipes.
Find out more about the next reading level - Ruby