Hints and Tips with Early Reading

Here is a brief guide as to how you can continue to help your child with reading at home.

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Annabelle Poulton

Using the Phonics-based book

Each of these books are carefully selected to use the phonics sounds that your child is confident with. They start off with using the individual sounds, mainly blending words that have 3 or 4 letters in them

eg -  can, and, dig, pup,

 and progressing to using the ‘digraphs’ or 2-letter sounds

eg – doll, munch, backshut

It is a good idea to get your child to sound out each word in the sentence first of all, to ‘get the words in your head’ and then read the whole sentence so that it makes sense.

As well as reading the book through, there are lots of other games and ideas inside the front and back covers to help you extend your child’s learning from each book.

Tricky Word Games

These games contain words that the children need to learn to recognise and spell.  This will help with reading and writing. They are words that cannot be sounded out.

Oxford Reading Tree Books

These are the books following Mum, Dad, Kipper, Biff, Chip and Floppy in their every day life and later on in adventures with the Magic Key.

To begin with your child will become very familiar with the stories and may ‘read’ the book without even looking at the words!  This is quite normal and is all part of becoming familiar with text.  Initially please encourage your child to point at the words as they read.

  • Some of the words in these books are in the Tricky Word Games. Others will be sent home on coloured strips of paper. In both cases youer child may have already learnt them and they should be able to recognise and read them

eg:-   the, go, to

  • Some of the words are decodable and this should be used as a first trystrategy

eg:-   and, can, Mum

  • Many of the words in these books are not decodable using phonics and other strategies need to be used
    • Picture clues

                       eg   flour

  • Say the first 3 sounds and make a good guess
  • Read the sentence and work out the missing word

  eg  Chip threw the stick for Floppy.

Word Tubs

Two types of words come home in these tubs:

1. Blendable, phonic-based words.

To start with the children will sound out each word – saying them ‘like a robot’, or in ‘sound talk’.

The object of these tubs is to encourage quicker and quicker blending, until this is a skill that becomes second nature.

Therefore, the more they go through these words, the more fluent their reading will be once they are reading whole sentences.

This skill will also help with their writing later on, as the reverse skill of segmenting is used to encourage them to spell out the words they need.

2. Words linked with Oxford Reading Tree

These are words we are learning as sight vocabulary and they are on coloured paper, so as to be easily distinguishable.

It is important that the children recognise these quickly and easily, so as to make reading fluent and automatic.

There are not many of these words so you will find the same set stays in the tub for a longer period of time.

Your child’s book will be changed atleast once a week but there are many things you can do with the one book!

After  reading the books you can ask your child questions such as:

  • Why did that happen?
  • Who did this or that?
  • What did Mum / Floppy / Kipper do?
  • What happened at the beginning?
  •  What happened in the middle?
  • What happened at the end?
  • Would you have acted differently?
  • Who is your favourite character in this story and why?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you think Biff / Chip / Kipper felt?