tips and tricks for teaching emergent readers (with free printable early reader books!)
The following guest post is written by the incredibly talented (and busy!) Anna of The Measured Mom. Anna is a former classroom teacher, currently a mom of four littles who will be joined by a fifth this winter! Please check out her rockin blog.
I’m thrilled to be guest posting here at Teach Mama! As a former first and second grade teacher and now mother to four little ones, I love teaching children how to read.
Today I’d like to share my tips and tricks for teaching emergent readers. You’ll also find some free printable emergent readers and links to even more!
- Tips and Tricks for Teaching Emergent Readers (with Free Printable Early Reader Books!):
So first of all… what’s an emergent reader?
The term emergent reader can mean two things. It can mean the actual reader himself, or it can mean little books that beginning readers use when they’re just beginning to match voice to print. Let’s talk about the children themselves.
Emergent readers are beginning readers who…
- know their alphabet and at least some letter sounds;
- know the difference between a letter and a word;
- have an basic sense of story (beginning, middle, end);
- are beginning to match spoken words with print;
- may recognize words in some contexts and not in others.
What behaviors do emergent readers exhibit?
- They may use their finger to point to words as they read.
- They read slowly (word by word).
- They use the picture clues as they read.
- They are learning to use beginning sounds to help solve harder words.
What kinds of books are best for emergent readers?
The best kind of books for emergent readers are little books with the same name: emergent readers. I’m not talking about phonics readers which can be laborious and painful for brand new readers who are probably not sounding out words with consistency.
I’m talking about little books that meet the following criteria:
- They have strong picture support.
- They use repetition, rhyme, or rhythm.
- They have controlled, repeated vocabulary.
- They use natural language.
- Their text is large and clear with only 1-2 sentences per page.
How do we best teach emergent readers?
First of all, we get them books that they can read. Unfortunately, true emergent readers (the books) are extremely hard to find. You are unlikely to find them in your local library and can spend a small fortune purchasing them from the big education companies. Thankfully, you can find free or affordable emergent readers by doing a little hunting. Here are some of my favorite resources:
Reading A-Z.com ($90 for a year’s subscription and unlimited downloads)
Ohio State Keep Books (Books are only about 25 cents each – ask about Kid’s Sets if you want single copies instead of classroom sets)
This Reading Mama’s Reading the Alphabet curriculum
Free Emergent Reader Set from The Measured Mom
That’s right – the last collection is from me! I’ve been creating four themed readers (such as animals, community helpers, and fairy tales) for each new sight word – starting simple (sight word a) and adding on as we go. You can access my growing collection by clicking on the image below:
And today I’m sharing a set of free emergent readers for you to use with your children at the very beginning of this stage! Get them here: Free Emergent Reader Set
To assemble these little books:
- 2) Be patient for the download and your printer – it may take a few minutes.
- 3) Cut each page across the horizontal center.
- 4) Insert the inner page of each book and staple with a long-armed stapler.
How do we support emergent readers as they read?
1) We give helpful prompts.
- Use the picture to help you.
- Does the first letter of that word match what you said?
- Did that sound right?
- Get your mouth ready to say that word.
2) We celebrate what they do well.
- That didn’t make sense and you went back and fixed it – good for you!
- That was a funny page and you laughed! I can tell you’re really thinking about what you’re reading.
- You didn’t know that word, but you used the picture to help you figure it out. That’s great!
3) We encourage them to grow as they move beyond emergent reading and into early reading.
- Are you stuck? Try the first chunk of that word.
- Look all the way through to the end of the word.
- Sometimes if you’re stuck it helps to start back at the beginning of the sentence.
- That sentence ends with an exclamation point. Show me how it sounds when you read that.
By reaching our emergent readers where they’re at and providing them with reading materials they love, we guide them on the path to a lifelong love of reading!
Anna taught for eight years and received her MEd in Curriculum & Instruction before beginning her career as a stay-at-home mom. She loves to learn and grow with her daughter (age 6) and three little boys (5,3,1) – plus another blessing due in January! Anna shares free education resources for parents and teachers at The Measured Mom. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Anna, for sharing!
Looking for more activities for ringing in Halloween (and sneaking in a little learning) with your littles?
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