By Barb Lurie | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Early Education | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Parents | Reading | Results | January 8, 2021

In second and third grade, your child will be what teachers call “an emerging reader” — one who knows a bit about phonics, can sound out unfamiliar words, and has memorized a short list of sight words (the words that don’t sound out easily such as DOUGHNUT which a reader who hadn’t memorized that word, would probably try and sound it out and pronounce it DOO-UGG-NUT).

Here are some ways that you can help your emerging reader.

    1. Have him or her try to sound it out; help by asking these questions: “What is the sound of the first letter?” and “What is the sound of the first letter and the next few letters together…”
    2. Skip the word, read to the end of the sentence or paragraph, and then go back to the unknown word and ask if it can be guessed from the rest of the sentence.
    3. Look at the picture and see if the word can be guessed.

It’s okay to admit the book is just too hard for your child right now. Here are some great tips on finding the “just right” reading range for your emerging reader.

Books that are too hard can be frustrating and can make your child sad, angry, or feel like he or she is failing. Reinforce the joy of reading by saying, “This has lots of hard words, let me read it to you;” or “Let’s read it together”. You can also set the book aside for a while. As emerging readers, children become better readers every month as they work with their teachers.

Books that are easy are great too! Think of easier books as a slow jog instead of running as fast as you can. Both jogging and sprinting are great exercise, but a jog is something you can do longer without collapsing. Encouraging an emerging reader is a marathon, not a sprint, and we want your child to enjoy reading more and more each day. This helps children reinforce the skills they have and get more comfortable with reading, which leads to reading for pleasure instead of feeling like reading is a chore.

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By Casey Wente | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Early Education | Engagement - Family | Games | K-5 Literacy | Listening | Parents | Reading | December 18, 2020

If you’re a reader, you’re familiar with the pull of another world. You’ve slipped into other lives to become fairies and dragon slayers, adventurers, and heroes. Now you want your child to experience new adventures and far-off lands, while tucked safely in their beds at home. Opening the door for them shouldn’t be stressful. I promise—there is a book out there they’ll LOVE.

A fantastic way to start is to dive into a book you’ll both love! I have a long-time connection with audio books. I’d go on car rides with my aunt who would check out books from the library to listen to in the car— quickly becoming absorbed in the story, riding across an ancient tundra with Ayla of the Zelandonii or on the back of Saphira the sapphire blue dragon through the skies of Alagesia. The habit of listening to audio books has lasted well into adulthood for me, a supplement when I don’t have the time to get cozy and turn the pages myself.

This is a great option for any level reader, because all you have to do is enjoy and be swept away! Listening to a story adds another tool to your vocabulary belt; the reader doesn’t skip those difficult to pronounce words. You and your child get to hear the word pronounced and used correctly. Without hearing the name of the place out loud, you don’t know if Superman lives in Metro-polis or Met-trop-olis. Hearing the words spoken out loud has helped me, as an adult, increase my vocabulary and feel more confident in my word usage.

Most libraries have an extensive audio and eBook collection. Both formats can be used on a mobile device or computer. If your local library doesn’t have an electronic collection, a larger library will generally allow you to get a card online 24/7 and check out titles whenever you want. Your library will probably recommend an app for easier connection to their collection. I use one called Overdrive.

Once you have the means, try out some books! There are as many “types” of books as there are stars in the sky but don’t feel overwhelmed! Start with topics that you know your child likes. Do they like mystery, adventure, true stories? Let them help you narrow down the choices. Giving your child the chance to choose the story will help keep him or her more interested.

A few tips:

The Kids Read Now Wish List includes over 120 popular titles, so please contact us to learn how we can help your students find new books to love!

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By Christina Brownlee | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Listening | Parents | Reading | Reading Instruction | Social Emotional Learning | Summer Reading | December 11, 2020

As your fairly typical “boy mom”, I can tell you I’ve seen just about every kind of graphic novel for kids. Long before my son discovered Marvel and DC superheroes, he found Captain Underpants, The Adventures of Dogman, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to name a few. Perhaps at first glance, graphic novels or comic books can appear silly, without substance, or unlikely to help your child read.

Those preconceptions couldn’t be farther from the truth. Don’t make the mistake of thinking graphic novels aren’t “real books”. Graphic novels can be the picture book for the middle generation of reader – the platform between easy beginner picture books and long chapter books. If your kids are anything like mine, silliness and goofiness are one surefire way to get and hold their attention. This is one of the most important stages in encouraging reluctant or emerging readers. Let them choose, watch the graphic novel grab their attention, and watch their imaginations soar to new heights!

Graphic novels are an excellent way to inspire your child to get excited about reading. The flow of the graphical storytelling, the fun and quirky characters, and the use of onomatopoeia are sure to form a lasting – KAPOW! – impression on your child’s imagination. If your child struggles with following a printed storyline, the pictures and flow of a graphic novel can help bring the story to life right before his or her eyes.

Graphic novels also help develop analytical readers. Your child will focus on the visual storytelling, looking for graphical plot clues, scenery insight, or to interpret character behavior and body language. Your child may not realize it, but graphic novels get the brain’s neurons firing – ZAP! – forming new creative and analytical pathways to decode the story. Decoding and processing the story through words and visual clues enable children to start thinking abstractly about their reading material.

Graphic novels can also inspire kids to create their own stories through drawing. Use this as an opportunity to encourage your child to recreate his or her own fantastical graphic world where protagonists can wear their underpants on the outside, be empowered by a radioactive spider, or even be a reflection of your child’s inner superhero. Allow your child to imagine a world where anything is possible!

Kids Read Now is proud to offer several graphic novels each year on our Wish List. We want kids to get excited to read, not just because they think the book is cool, but because we’re helping build their superhuman brain power – BOOM! If you have any questions about the Kids Read Now in-home reading programs, please contact us.

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Engagement - Family | Games | K-5 Literacy | Listening | Parents | Reading | Results | Social Emotional Learning | November 13, 2020

How to encourage kids to learn to love reading now, for a lifetime’s worth of benefits

Learning to read is arguably one of the most fundamental lessons learned as a child. Helping your children to learn to love reading is one of the most valuable gifts they can receive.

Reading doesn’t have to be chore or an assignment and some children may be reluctant to read if it’s presented as such. Allow your child to find the magic and adventure waiting just behind every book cover and soon reading will be an imagination destination that your child craves!

Encourage Your Child to Enjoy Reading

At Kids Read Now, we know that the readers today are the leaders of tomorrow. Students reading at grade level by third grade are less likely to struggle as they move forward through life. Here are some ways you can spark your child’s interest in reading.

Give them choices

Kids love choices because it puts them in charge and gives them a sense of empowerment. Giving kids the choice of what to read is one of the first step in creating a lifelong reader. Our summer reading program allows students to select which books they want to read, and we’ve found that students who select their own books are much more likely to read them!

Read together

Reading together encourages your child’s reading habits and creates time for family bonding! This is the time to use silly character voices, so let your imaginations run wild together! Children of all ages can benefit from bedtime stories, so read to your child or encourage him or her to read to you. If your child is passed the “reading aloud” phase, pick a chapter book or novel you can read together.

This option will give older readers a sense of independence and responsibility in preparing to discuss the book with you. You may find that some of their choices are just as entertaining and interesting to you as they are to your kids. Select a chapter each night to compare your thoughts about what occurred and what might happen the next day.

Encourage daily reading

The best way to make reading a habit is to encourage it daily! Try to set a specific time aside each day when the whole family participates in reading. During this time, try to eliminate distractions like TV, music, or other household chores, and focus only on reading. Set a timer for 15 minutes and relax with a good book!

Discuss the books they read

Invite your children to tell you about the books they’ve read. Ask them if they can relate to the book and how they might act as the main character. This is a great time to help your children relate the book to themselves, their world, other books, and really get creative with the details! Every Kids Read Now book includes a Discovery Sheet, which is a great tool for sparking an active discussion.

Offer praise for completing books

When your child completes a book, celebrate! Tell your child how proud you are of him or her and do something fun, such as having a mini dance party at home or visiting the library to get the next adventure. Excitement is contagious and reinforces reading as fun and positive behavior. If you are interested in learning more about our program, please reach out to us for more information.

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By Christina Brownlee | Categories All | Choices | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | K-5 Literacy | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | Summer Reading | November 6, 2020

Finding your children’s perfect reading range may seem like a daunting task at first. On one hand you want to challenge them but on the other, you don’t want them to get discouraged. So how do you find that fine line where reading is both fun and beneficial? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

What Books Do Children Choose?

It’s not uncommon to assume most children read at grade level; however, here at Kids Read Now we have found that many students select books from outside their grade level. According to our 2020 book selection, 53.5% of all books selected were of reading levels outside a student’s grade level. Just because a student is in a specific grade doesn’t mean that he or she will enjoy or benefit from reading books specifically for that grade!

The Five Finger Rule

An easy way to judge if a book is in your child’s “just right” range at home is the Five Finger Rule. Let your child pick any book and open the book to any page. Put up one finger for each word your child is unsure of or doesn’t know.

If books are “Too Easy”, children may get easily distracted or bored. If books are “Too Hard”, children may feel discouraged and frustrated. Try to find books in their “Just Right” range and encourage them to read and ask questions about words they may not know. Also, consider reading “Too Hard” books together so you can discuss difficult words or passages.

Finding the Right Books with the Right Program

Kids Read Now has a wide variety of books that students can choose based on their “just right” reading range and individual interests. Each year our Wish List includes multicultural, bilingual, series, fiction, nonfiction, multiethnic, and award-winning books sure to spark creativity and a love of reading in all K-3 students. Contact us if you have any questions about finding your child’s “Just Right” reading range or for more information on our proven, in-home reading program.

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | K-5 Literacy | Reading | Results | October 14, 2020

If you have a young reader in your house, you may have heard different terms like Lexile, Developmental Reading Assessment, Accelerated Reader, and others. These terms and more are used to determine the reading levels of books.

 

But what exactly do they mean? How do we know that if a child can read a book on one level they can also independently tackle another level? The different reading levels can quickly become overwhelming, but don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

 

Generally, teachers will perform several reading assessments with students over the course of the school year. These assessments determine their reading level which will help guide their choices when selecting books.

 

Typically, these reading levels are also used to categorize books in school libraries; therefore, the child can easily select books for themselves from that particular section. It’s important to understand that these assessments aren’t meant to restrict your child, but to determine the best way to help them progress as a reader.

 

Always encourage your child to read books on their level and to try more advanced titles. Stretching their comprehension skills will help them progress through the different levels.

 

There are a number of different ways that books are assessed. Here are some of the most popular methods and their explanations.

Common Reading Level Assessments

Accelerated Reader (AR) ATOS Level: AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage a student’s independent reading practice. The child picks a book read at their own pace. When finished reading, the student takes a comprehension quiz on the computer and receives points and feedback based on the quiz results.

 

Children select their own books to read instead of having one assigned to them, which gives them a sense of control and makes reading a more enjoyable experience.

 

F&P Text Level Gradient: Fountas and Pinnell Reading Levels are not solely based on the child’s skill levels. Instead, books are classified according to various factors such as word count, number of different words, high-frequency words, sentence length and complexity, word repetitions, illustration support, etc.

 

While students tend to have a wide range of reading comprehension skills at a young age, each reading level is associated with the school grade level in which the child belongs.

 

For example, kindergarten students read books on the A, B, C, or D levels; first-grade students read on E-J levels, and so on.

 

Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA): With DRA, each student’s reading level is based on an evaluation of three components: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension.

 

The assessment is a combination of oral retelling, written comprehension responses, and overall student engagement. Once complete, teachers use the DRA Continuum to assess each student and select learning activities according to their skill set.

 

The Lexile Framework: The Lexile Framework is a popular system used to measure a student’s reading ability and level books on text complexity. When measuring both of these components, educators can “forecast” the success the reader will have with that book.

 

Even across the different level assessments, it’s important to note these indicators are meant to help your child – not restrict them. If you have any questions about how your child’s reading levels can be improved or wish to learn more about our program, reach out to us at info@kidsreadnow.org.

 

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Book Deserts | Choices | K-5 Literacy | Reading | Results | Summer Reading | October 2, 2020

At a time when most of our communications are reliant on and provided by technology, we like to give Kids Read Now kids something different to look forward to – mail.

Technology can provide us with a sense of instant gratification, so have we forgotten that the anticipation can be fun as well? Sometimes jokingly referred to as “snail mail”, receiving mail is one of the greatest surprises, especially for kids. Since all our books are delivered via the United States Postal Service, we like to think we add an element of surprise to kids’ lives, especially when they know a brand new book is on the way!

5 Reasons a KRN Book Delivery is the Best Snail Mail

1. It’s personal. Kids love knowing something is coming just for them. As a personal and authentic touch, all KRN books are addressed with the student’s name which makes kids feel important and encourages ownership at a young age.

2. They wait for it. Especially now, with a limited amount of outside entertainment, our students wait with tremendous anticipation to receive their next set of books.

3. It’s a learning experience. Kids select the books they’d like to receive and have so much fun getting them in the mail, they may not realize they are learning and enhancing critical and creative thinking skills.

4. They can travel anywhere. These books let them sail the oceans, hike across the country, discover new friendships, and open their imaginations. KRN books are the perfect way to travel to another place, even if you have to stay where you are!

5. It’s safe and convenient. There’s no need for parents to schedule specific time to visit a bookstore or library. All KRN book deliveries are contact-less and delivered by the postal service, so you never have to leave your home!

For more information on our programs, contact us today.

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Choices | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Reading | Summer Reading | September 28, 2020

It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a summer and Kids Read Now students across the country are returning to school, either in classrooms or remotely. If there is one thing we know for sure about our students, it’s that they pick some pretty amazing books to read over the summer!

Here are the most requested titles of 2020:

  1. National Geographic Kids: Jump, Pup! By: Susan B. Neuman

Do you like dogs? Then, I bet you love puppies! What do they do all day? Tag along on an adventure to meet new friends and see amazing sites. 24pgs

AR: 0.5 | Lexile: 130L | F&P: E

 

 

 

 

  1. My Friend is Sad By: Mo Willems Illustrated by Mo Willems

Gerald is sad. Piggie tries to cheer him up.

Will it work? A sweet read about two friends who stick together. Gerlad the Elephant is down in the dumps and his best friend Piggie is determined to cheer him up.

64pgs

AR: 0.7 | Lexile: 220L | F&P: –

 

 

 

  1. Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt By: Ben Clanton

Illustrated by Ben Clanton

Narwhal and Jelly unleash their inner superheros in this new book! They learn to use their inner powers and discover the joy of friendship in three new stories. Join them in their adventures!

64pgs

AR: 2.6 | Lexile: GN510L | F&P: N

 

 

 

  1. The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto By: Natalie Standiford

Illustrated by Donald Cook

The children of Nome, Alaska are very sick and need medicine. Balto goes to the rescue with a sled dog team to save the children on this grand adventure!

48pgs

AR: 2.5 | Lexile: 510L | F&P: L

 

 

 

  1. National Geographic Kids: Tigers By: Laura Marsh

What is the biggest cat in the world? A tiger, indeed! These giant jungle cats are beautiful, strong, and powerful predators. Learn more about this endangered species.

32pgs

AR: 3.3 | Lexile: 550L | F&P: K

 

 

 

  1. Big Shark, Little Shark By: Anna Membrino Illustrated by Tim Budgen

A great lesson about apologizing and including others in this funny, light-hearted story. 32pgs

AR: 0.9 | Lexile: 150L | F&P: F

 

 

 

 

  1. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish By: Dr. Seuss

Illustrated by Dr. Seuss

A Dr. Seuss classic! Follow your beginning reader on all the funny, rhyme-worthy adventures! “From near to far, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” You will love Dr. Seuss’s funny creatures and clever rhymes. 72pgs

AR: 1.7 | Lexile: 270L | F&P: L

 

 

 

  1. National Geographic Kids: Storms By: Miriam Busch Goin

Storms are scary, but it’s fun to learn what’s going on when Mother Nature strikes! Learn the facts about tornadoes, lightning, thunder, monsoons, hurricanes, and more!

32pgs

AR: 2.7 | Lexile: 500L | F&P: –

 

 

 

  1. Pete the Cat’s Train Trip By: James Dean

Illustrated by James Dean

Pete the Cat takes an adventure on a train and gets to see the engine and honk the horn!

Take his groovy trip with him!

32pgs

AR: 1.7 | Lexile: AD460L | F&P: –

 

 

 

  1. National Geographic Kids: Swing, Sloth! By: Susan B. Neuman

Come meet the all the creatures that make their home in the rainforest! Simple and lively text make this an easy read for those just beginning with books.

24pgs

AR: – | Lexile: 100L | F&P: –

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By Leib Lurie | Categories All | Challenges | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | Listening | Opportunity Gap | Parents | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | Social Emotional Learning | Summer Reading | September 4, 2020

Every book we mail home has a book-specific “Discovery Sheet” on the inside front cover.

PARENT TIP: For books you get from other places, you can help build reading skills by making up questions or activities like these and talk about EVERY BOOK when your child finishes reading it.

It has room for your child to write in his/her name as the proud owner of the book. Pride in book ownership is a crucial first step on the path to loving reading.

Each sticker has four activities that will help your child better understand the book and improves their reading comprehension. These are written at the reading level of the book, so kids can read them easily. Some questions suggest working on an activity and/or discussing with a parent. Questions in Read-To-Me books are designed to be done with a parent. Most can be answered by talking about them or drawing a picture. Upper-level books have fun or challenging activities that match what is being taught in class to become a stronger reader.

Typically, each sheet includes the following four categories which work together to help a child better understand the book. To think how it fits into what they have read elsewhere, already know about themselves, compare with other books or shows, and use their imagination or creativity. For example:

Text to Self:

Text-to-self connections are highly personal connections that a student makes between parts of this book and their own experiences or life. For example, “What are some of the ways these animals take care of their babies, and how is this like how your mom takes care of you?

Text to Text:

Sometimes students are reminded of other things that they have read; other books by the same author, stories from a similar genre, or perhaps on the same topic. For example, “Pick two animals in this book. How do they take care of their babies? How are they the same? Or, different?

Text to World:

Text-to-world connections are the larger connections that a student brings to this book. We learn about things through school, teachers, parents, television and videos. For example, “What would happen to most of these animals if their parents did not take care of them?” or “Have you seen a program on television that talked about animal babies? How was it the same or different from this book?” Keep asking your child to talk more about it. The more they talk about what they have seen, the more they will learn and internalize it.

Creativity / Imagination:

This activity might ask your child to do something creative, such as draw a picture, draft a letter to the author, or imagine what might happen in a sequel to this book.

Always encourage longer explanations:

Brainstorm with them! Look up new facts, make up a play, or perform a puppet show about the story.

Ask your child to use new words they may have learned in this book.

Talking more about books helps make children better readers!

ELL FAMILIES

The Kids Read Now app (iOS | Android) helps foreign language-speaking parents better help their children. The Discovery Sheet activities can be viewed in over 150 languages.

Click here for a sample Discovery Sheet

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Listening | Parents | Reading | Results | Social Emotional Learning | July 6, 2020

Bedtime routines are especially important for children. Regular schedules and rituals give our children the predictability they crave. When kids know what to expect, especially when it includes a bonding routine like reading, it can help eliminate nighttime distractions.

Most doctors and sleep specialists will tell you to incorporate soothing, relaxing activities at bedtime. Some examples might include soft music, a warm bath, and our personal favorite, a bedtime story!

Here at Kids Read Now, we are big fans of reading — especially bedtime stories. Spending 15 minutes each night reading to or with your child can give you both a sense of connection and help establish a healthy routine.

Importance of reading before bedtime

There are no hard and fast rules for bedtime, just a few guidelines that will help establish healthy habits with your child. Reading before bedtime not only sets a calm atmosphere, but it also helps their busy minds calm down.

Additional benefits of reading before bedtime include:

Healthy bedtime rituals can help your child fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rested and refreshed. As your child grows older, an established reading habit at bedtime will be second nature. Establishing good habits will not only take away the stress out of putting a child to bed, but it’s also a great way to spend quality time together.

Every night before bed, have your child pick out a book, and read along with him or her for 15 minutes. Chapter books can help reinforce your nightly routine as your child will look forward to each new chapter before bed! Don’t be surprised if your child wants to read the same book over and over, either. Rereading books helps your child have a deeper understanding of the material and presents an opportunity for stability.

At Kids Read Now, we remain focused on keeping kids interested in reading and expanding their imaginations. We have book programs that keep children reading all year long! If you would like more information, please reach out to us to learn more. Let’s work together to eliminate the summer slide, close the achievement gap, and create beneficial bedtime routines for all students!

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