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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Great Ways to Boost Reading Comprehension for AR Test

Always take your time when reading!
1. Set a timer so that it will probably go off about four times while your child is reading. Each time the timer goes off, have the child stop and draw a quick picture of what is happening in the story.

2. Ask your child as many questions as you can think of! Listen to your child read the book aloud. Before your child turns each page, stop and ask your child questions about what he or she just read.

3. You read to me, and I'll read to you. Have your child read the book aloud to you, and then you read it to him. Make a recording of you, (the adult,) reading the book fluently and with good expression.

4. Find shorter books at the same grade level and test on those rather than chapter books. Shorter books can be reviewed more thoroughly and easily, and are
therefore easier to pass tests on. It’s less discouraging for a child that is struggling.

5. Choose a book at the right reading level. In AR, kids are supposed to do better when they stay in their "zone." They should choose books that are within that range of reading levels for success.

6. Get stuck on a word? After you figure it out, go back and re-read that page. Once your child figures it out, have the child go back and re-read the whole sentence. Ask him what the sentence means. Now go back to the top of the page and re-read the whole page! If you could see the specific questions that children miss on the AR tests, and then think back to that section of the book, you may very well find that the page with that information was a page with a couple of tricky words.

7. Read an AR book five times before testing! This is a good rule of thumb for children that are new readers, and a rule that is commonly used in some first grade classes. The children are expected to read their AR books five times before testing!

8. If the book is non-fiction, have children take a careful look at the headings, table of contents, and glossary if there is one. Think of it as studying for a test- not just reading a book.

9. Have your kids practice finding the main idea of simple conversational topics first,
then move on to books.

10. What should you do if your child is STILL failing the AR test, even though you have tried lots of these strategies? * Take the reading level WAY down until you find the level of books that your child is successful at. Stay on that level for a while, and build up the feeling of success. Then start inching the reading level up, little by little, keeping an eye on the test scores to make sure that you do not go past what the child is capable of doing. * Discuss test taking strategies. If there is a word in one of the multiple choice answers that the child has never seen before, then that's probably NOT the correct answer!

The specific blog post related to AR tests can be found here:

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