Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We've been working really hard on reading at our house since the Christmas Break. Mark is pretty fluent in his reading, but has not been motivated to read individually-- He just wants us to read to him. Dax has the small and capital letters down, and knows their sounds, but cannot read a stitch. We decided this is the perfect time to help both of them take the next step (these are the things we discuss as we lay in bed and stare at the ceiling each night).

We decided that Mark would read simple chapter books and we'd make a dinosaur footprint for each book he completes. We'd place the tracks from his room down the hall to the kitchen. He'd get a reward for reaching the kitchen, and then we can turn him around and head him back to his room. We chose to introduce this activity right after he'd completed a book, so he got to fill out a dino track right away. He was very excited!

Our hallway wall
Mark working on a chapter book--this one is nonfiction.

For Dax, we started by writing a book together. Mom sat Dax down and wrote a simple repetitive book that Dax could then read. It followed the pattern: Dax can see a __________. Dax illustrated the books by gluing on and coloring pictures. So where Dax glued on a volleyball he'd colored blue, the page reads, "Dax can see a blue volleyball." Then we worked on the words: Dax, can, see, and a (he looks at the picture for "blue volleyball," but that is not the focus here, the repetition is). For each word that Dax learns, we put up a train with that word written on it. He, too, is trying to get down the hall to the kitchen. We make sure that we reinforce the words by taking Dax to the trains (they're at his eye level) a few times a day and having him read each word for us. He can also read mom, dad, mark, and I. It is amazing how fast he has learned these words on sight.
Dax with his book, "Dax Can See."

One of the pages of the book--I cut pictures from a coloring book and Dax picked the color. We used a different color for each page--there are eight pages in this book.

We made this book today to learn the word "like." We made a list of things that he liked and printed picture from the Internet. Dax helped me glue them in and told me what words to write. This book has 5 pages.

This has been a lot of fun for our family. We let both the boys choose their reward for reaching the end of the hallway--Mark chose play video games and Dax chose bowling. If you're looking for an idea from a couple of elementary school teachers on how to jump start your kids' reading, give it a try!


  1. Good luck with that! I'm amazed that Dax is reading already. We have tons of great readers here, but they usually didn't start quite that young.

  2. Your kids are sure lucky to have elementary school teachers as PARENTS! Fun ideas! :)


Total Pageviews