Students in the LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention) program have "Book Pouches" that should be brought home every night. I like my students to keep three books in his/her pouch. These books are books which we have read in class, so the students are familiar with them. In class we are working on your child's "Instructional" level. The instructional level is the level the student works on with an adult. The "Independent" level is a book your child can read and understand on his/her own. Typically the independent level is the level prior to the instructional level. If you look at the back of the book, you can see the level of the book. The higher level is the instructional level, the lower levels are books on your child's independent level.
Reading the books
When reading the Instructional level book at home with your child, keep in mind that this is the book with which your child needs support. We have read the book at school at least two times. That does not mean your child will read the book easily. While reading, your child should be looking at the picture, matching the picture to the print, and making sure the words look right and make sense in the sentence. After reading the book, ask your child to tell you about the story. If it is a nonfiction book, ask your child what he/she learned. I encourage the students to tell me who the characters are; what the charactera are doing; and then give me details about what the character did; and finally, tell me how the story ended. Ask your child to make a prediction about what might happen next in the story. Ask how the character was feeling at different points of the story. Ask if this story reminds your child of anything. When asking all of these questions also ask your child to give proof from the story that supports what he/she is telling you.
When reading the Independent level book, your child should be practicing fluency (making it sound like you talk). You can discuss this book the same way you discuss the instructional level book.
Other things you can do at home to promote reading
- Have a family reading time. Maybe it is just one night a week when the family all sits down to read together. Maybe you can have 15 minutes each night as Family Reading time. You can read picture books and eveyone can take turns sharing a book. Mom or Dad can read a chapter book to the family over a period of time.
- Encourage a silent reading time.
- Let your child see you reading and enjoying it.
While traveling have your child read signs or point out signs to them and tell them what the signs say. (Most children know how to read "McDonald's" because they see those golden arches. Make them aware of other print.)
I hope you find these helpful as you work with your child at home. The most important thing you can do is to promote reading and show your child it can be enjoyable.