Children who can read accurately, quickly and with expression will have an easier time understanding what they read because they won’t be stuck on sounding out words. Building fluency is like building a muscle, it takes practice and reading many times to get stronger and faster!
Children begin to see themselves as “readers” and know that reading words will give them understanding of a story. Kindergarten is also a great time to learn about reading with “expression”. This means using different voices for characters, reading with excitement if there’s an exclamation point, and to trying to read with the same voice you use when having a conversation with a friend.
We must prevent children from experiencing frustration as they try to read. This means finding a book that they are able to read comfortably and offer only a slight challenge, in other words, a book the child can comfortably read most of the words they see. Early reading books with pictures and large font help boost children’s confidence and excitement when they realize they can actually read the book!
While reading a book to your child, have them repeat a sentence from the story after you have read it. Let them practice making their voice sound natural and changing the tone as the sentence ends. If a character in the story speaks, model how they talk, then have your child repeat after you.
A chorus read is when you and your child read at the same time, like how singers sing in a chorus! Pick a paragraph in a story and let your child get practice in reading fluently with you.
Kindergartners will not be timed while they read until 1st grade.