Here are some helpful links for parents who want to give their children a jump start on reading before school, or reinforce/advance the reading instruction their children receive at school:
For students who are identified as probable/independent readers, Accelerated Reader is a key component in our Title I Program at Fayetteville. Students read books in their range (determined by the STAR test), then take computerized tests over the books. Generally, the more a student practices his reading, the more quickly he shows growth on reading assessments. Parents can use ARBookfind to check the levels of A.R. books at home, the library, or the book store! Students can read books on their levels at home, then take the A.R. tests at school! As children take AR tests, encourage them to keep track of their average percent correct (goal is 85% or higher) and their number of points. You can even set goals with small prizes for your children when they reach a certain number of points to encourage them to read more.
For beginning readers, we have found that both StarFall and TeachYourMonsterToRead provide excellent online practice! Best of all, both offer the PC version for FREE! Links are below.
Click Here for Starfall We use this site as it provides great practice for students who are just learning letters and sounds, as well as beginning readers, and independent readers! There are 4 levels. Level 1 teaches individual letters and sounds. Level 2 teaches students to blend sounds into words, and teaches digraphs and common spelling patterns. Level 3 includes activities for independent readers, and Level 4 offers longer stories and activities for advancing readers. You can also find other fun learning activities on Starfall. The PC version is FREE! The app is available for purchase.
http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/ We use this research-based program from the Usborne Foundation in Title I, because it teaches reading in a fun game-like format that kids love! Kids create their own "alien monsters," then "teach them to read" by completing tasks to help the monster repair his spaceship. There are three games, at increasing levels of difficulty, that take kids from letter/sound recognition (for preschoolers/kindergartners) through reading sentences. Teach Your Monster to Read is also a great resource for kids to practice at home. The PC version is free. The app is available for purchase.
http://www.spellingcity.com/vaughntitle/ Our Title I page on SpellingCity has all the Orton-Gillingham "red words" lists we use at school, plus additional lists like "Question Words." Just find your child's current list, and you can print/copy to practice using the Orton-Gillingham Procedure for learning Red Words. Then for additional practice, your child can play games with the red words online! He/she can even practice other lists in advance!