Here’s a tip that you can incorporate at home to make reading chapter books more meaningful for you child. It is a trick that classroom often use when conducting Guided Reading groups (also sometimes called Literature Circles). That’s when a teacher or trained parent and a small group of students are all actively engaged in reading the same book together. Everyone shares their thinking and opinions as they go along (if they are reading side by side), or later on when the group meets after having read a few chapters on their desks.
To prepare for a Guided Reading group, teachers and students often write down thoughts, opinions, or questions on post-its and stick them on the corresponding pages to refer to later. This is something parents can do at home too.
In a perfect world, you would have two copies of the book and you and your child would leisurley be reading together before a fireplace, munching on popcorn on a rainy afternoon. You’d stock your post-its as you read, and then share your thinking every twenty minutes. But, um…that’s not exactly how things work in my house! So here are two real world modifications.
#1 (The so-so way) Read in advance a book your child is going to be reading independently. Stock it with post-its, and underlined passages. This will turn your child’s Independent Reading time, into a quasi Guided Reading activity.
#2 (A better way) Read a chapter ahead of the book your child is reading, and mark it with post-its in your color. Then your child reads that same chapter on his own, and marks it with post-its in his color. At the end of the chapter, he shows you his post-its and you discuss what he has read.
For more information on how too choose the right level book for your child to read, please see my previous post at: https://teachingmybabytoread.com/2011/03/01/the-three-types-of-reading/