and the Beanstalk (“Fee, Fi, Fo Fum . . .”)
• Repeating the words helps put them into
• Often, they include rhyme. Rhyming
helps with understanding how words
work; he, she, tree, three.
Series books work well with this method
because the books are sequenced from easy
to more difficult. Some examples are:
• Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish (Grade
Level: . 5 - 2.0), Harper Collins
• Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel (Primer
• Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman
Sharmat (Grade Level 2.0 - 3.0), Yearling
• Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel (Grade
Level 2.0 - 3. 2), Scholastic
How it Works
After obtaining several books, here are five
steps that, if practiced, will not only help alleviate the frustration for both parent and
child, but will make learning to read a joyful endeavor for both of you.
Step 1: Tracking (following under the
To begin, sit across from the child, tracking
on top of the words while he or she tracks
under the words as you read. After the child
is able to track, sit next to him or her.
Step 2: Introduce the Book
For beginner books, first go through the
book’s pictures and discuss what the book
might be about. Link the book’s subject to
information the students know. For example, if there is a picture of a park, ask
“Have you been to a park?” or “What kinds
of things do you see in a park?” For higher-level reading books, discuss pictures and
Step 3: Reading to the Child
• For short books, pre-primer, and primer,
read the whole book. For longer books,
divide the book into parts.
• For the first reading, read at a slow pace,
but not so slow as to lack expression.
• Read each page and have the child read
the word, phrase, or sentence right after
• For the second reading, read the same
text at a regular pace with expression.
• The child continues to track under the
words as you read.
Step 4: Reading with the Child
• The child reads the words and phrases
with you and tracks under the words.
• After practice, the child reads alone. You
read words that are difficult for the child,
and he continues reading.
• Do not stop to sound out the words. The
child sees you as a helper, and the goal is
• After practice, the child should be able
to read 70 percent or more of the words
correctly. Make reading adjustments as
• After the child has read a few books successfully, he or she should be able to read
90 percent or more of the words correctly.
Step 5: Read with Expression
Reading with expression is important. As
you show interest and enthusiasm when
you read, children learn to do the same.
Children also become more fluent in their
reading when they read with expression.
This is especially important for children
who read word-by-word. Reading with expression also helps with understanding a
story and brings out the thrill of reading.
There is something thrilling about the vibration of sounds that come from a good
Editor’s Note: Matthew Glavach is the teacher
for Reading Remedies at Schoolhouse Teach
Matthew Glavach, Ph.D., teacher, researcher,
and writer has authored and coauthored over
40 educational programs, including Reading
with Donny and Marie Osmond, an origi-
nal music-based reading program for youn-
ger readers, and numerous research articles.
He is on the editorial board of The Journal
of the American Academy of Special Edu-
cation Professionals (JAASEP), an online
peer-reviewed journal committed to advan-
cing the professional development of special
education professionals. With his Northern
California company, Glavach and Associates
( StrugglingReaders.com), Dr. Glavach is
committed to improving student literacy.
Visit his website: wwwStrugglingReaders
.com. If you have questions or suggestions,
contact him at: email@example.com.
1. Thogmartin, M.B. (2003). Teaching a child to read
with children’s books. 93. ERIC Clearinghouse on
Reading, English, and Communication.
Children learn to read by reading a book orally. They see, pronounce,
and hear the words, which helps them remember words.