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Teaching Tips

From Classroom to Living Room: Making Kindergarten Reading a Team Effort

June 27, 2024

by: LWT Staff

7 mins


Teaching reading in kindergarten is an exciting journey that sets the stage for a child's lifelong love of learning. It’s not just about the letters and sounds; it’s about building a strong foundation for literacy that engages both students and their parents. Parental involvement is crucial for reinforcing what children learn in the classroom, and it can be incredibly rewarding when parents see their kids' reading skills blossom. Here’s how you can engage parents and make reading instruction in kindergarten a collaborative and joyful experience. 

1. Start with Phonics Fun 

Phonics is the cornerstone of reading instruction in kindergarten. It involves teaching children the relationships between letters and sounds, enabling them to decode words. Here’s how you can make phonics fun for kids and easy for parents to support at home: 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Interactive Games: Incorporate phonics games like “Sound Bingo” or “Letter Hunt” where kids can actively participate and enjoy learning. 

- Phonics Songs and Rhymes: Use catchy songs and rhymes to teach letter sounds. Music makes learning memorable. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Daily Practice: Encourage parents to spend a few minutes each day practicing letter sounds with their child. Simple flashcards or phonics apps can be helpful. 

- Read Aloud: Reading aloud to children is one of the best ways to reinforce phonics skills. Choose books that highlight the sounds and letters you’re teaching. 

2. Small-Group Reading Sessions 

Small-group reading sessions allow for more personalized instruction, catering to the different learning paces of children. This setting also fosters a closer connection between the teacher, students, and parents. 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Group by Skill Level: Organize small groups based on reading levels to provide targeted instruction. 

- Use Decodable Books: Select books that match the phonics skills being taught. This reinforces learning and boosts confidence. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Home Reading Groups: Encourage parents to form small reading groups within their community. Kids can take turns reading to each other, which builds confidence and fluency. 

- Reading Logs: Provide reading logs for parents to track their child’s progress. This keeps them involved and aware of their child’s improvement. 

3. Whole-Group Reading Activities 

Whole-group reading activities build a sense of community and allow children to learn from each other. They also offer opportunities for parents to get involved in a larger setting. 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Shared Reading: Use big books or projected texts for shared reading sessions. Engage students by asking predictive and comprehension questions. 

- Themed Reading Weeks: Organize themed reading weeks where the entire class focuses on a particular topic or author. This makes reading exciting and cohesive. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Volunteer in Class: Invite parents to volunteer during whole-group reading activities. They can help with reading aloud or assist children with their tasks. 

- Reading Celebrations: Plan reading celebrations where parents are invited to join in. Kids can showcase their reading skills, and parents can participate in related activities. 

4. Create a Reading-Friendly Environment at Home 

A child’s home environment plays a significant role in their reading development. Here’s how parents can create a literacy-rich environment: 

Tips for Parents: 

- Designate a Reading Nook: Set up a cozy reading corner with comfortable seating and a variety of books. This makes reading a special and inviting activity. 

- Library Visits: Regular trips to the library can instill a love for reading. Encourage parents to let their children pick out books that interest them. 

- Daily Reading Routine: Establish a daily reading routine. Whether it’s a bedtime story or a quiet afternoon reading session, consistency is key. 

5. Utilize Technology 

Technology can be a powerful tool in teaching reading. It can make learning interactive and fun, which is especially important for young learners. 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Educational Apps: Introduce educational apps that focus on phonics, reading comprehension, and vocabulary building. 

- Digital Storytelling: Use digital storytelling tools to create interactive reading experiences. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Screen Time with Purpose: Guide parents on how to use screen time effectively. Recommend apps and online resources that support reading skills. 

- Interactive E-books: Encourage the use of interactive e-books that offer read-aloud features and engaging visuals. 

6. Celebrate Successes 

Celebrating small milestones can boost a child’s confidence and motivate them to keep improving. 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Reading Certificates: Award certificates for achievements like mastering a set of sight words or completing a reading level. 

- Classroom Displays: Create a “Reading Stars” board to showcase student progress and achievements. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Home Rewards: Suggest that parents set up a reward system at home. Simple rewards like stickers, extra playtime, or a special treat can be very motivating. 

- Praise and Encouragement: Remind parents to celebrate their child’s efforts and progress, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement is key to building confidence. 

7. Try Workshops and Information Sessions 

Providing parents with the tools and knowledge they need to support their child’s reading journey is invaluable. 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Workshops: Attend workshops that cover topics like phonics, reading strategies, and how to choose appropriate books. Explore a wide variety of expert-led workshops to refine your skills.

- Resource Packs: Provide parents with resource packs that include tips, activity ideas, and reading lists. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Attend Sessions: Encourage parents to attend these sessions and actively participate. The more they know, the better they can support their child.

- Ask Questions: Remind parents that it’s okay to ask questions and seek advice from teachers. Collaboration is key to a child’s success. 

8. Foster a Love of Reading 

Ultimately, the goal is to instill a love of reading in children. When they see their parents and teachers passionate about reading, they are more likely to develop that same enthusiasm. 

Tips for Teachers: 

- Reading Challenges: Organize reading challenges with fun incentives. Encourage kids to read a certain number of books or minutes each month. 

- Book Talks: Hold book talks where students can share their favorite books with the class. This promotes a love of reading and introduces new titles to students. 

Tips for Parents: 

- Model Reading: Parents should model reading at home. When children see their parents reading, they understand that it’s an enjoyable and valuable activity. 

- Discuss Books: Encourage parents to discuss books with their children. Talking about stories and characters helps deepen comprehension and enjoyment. 

Engaging parents in their child’s reading journey is a partnership that benefits everyone. With these strategies, you can create a supportive, joyful, and enriching reading experience for kindergartners, setting them up for a lifetime of success and a love of learning. Let’s work together to make reading an adventure that kids and parents alike will cherish! 


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