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Literacy Support

Literacy Resource Tool Kit

Here you will find resources to support literacy development with the tools we are using in the classroom at school with your child.

By: Kathleen Rogers (2008) How can parents help their children find books that are not "too hard" and not "too easy" but instead are "just right"? Here's some advice. Five finger rule:

  1. Choose a book that you think you will enjoy.

  2. Read the second page.

  3. Hold up a finger for each word you are not sure of, or do not know.

  4. If there are five or more words you did not know, you should choose an easier book.

 Still think it may not be too difficult? Use the five finger rule on two more pages.

Choose a book that is a good fit for you!

Read two or three pages and ask yourself these questions:

Will it be an easy, fun book to read?

  • Do I understand what I am reading?
  • Do I know almost every word?
  • When I read it aloud, can I read it smoothly?
  • Do I think the topic will interest me?

If most of your answers were "yes", this will be an easy book to read independently by yourself.

Will this book be too hard for me?

  • Are there five or more words on a page that I don't know, or am unsure of?
  • Is this book confusing and hard to understand by myself?
  • When I read it aloud, does it sound choppy and slow?

If most of your answers were "yes," this book is too hard. You should wait a while before you read this book. Give the book another try later, or ask an adult to read the book to you.

Tips on reading with your child

When they can't read the word, say…

  • Can you sound it out?
  • Fingertap it.
  • Can you think of the word or movement that helps you remember that vowel sound?
  • What is the first and last sound? What word would make sense?
  • Does it have a pattern that you have seen in other words? (ex-an, ack)
  • How does the word begin?
  • You said_______. Does that make sense?
  • What word would make sense that would start with these sounds?
  • Put your finger under the word as you say it.

When they want to read a book that is too hard, say…

  • Let's read it together.
  • This is a book you will enjoy more if you save it until you are older — or later in the year.
  • [Be honest!] When people read books that are too hard for them, they often skip important parts. You will have more fun with this book if you wait until you can read it easily.

Rogers, K. (2008). Selecting Books for Your Child: Finding 'Just Right' Books. Retrieved November 7, 2008, from

1. Find a quiet spot to read with your child.

2. Have your child reread a familiar book, or part of a book. When he/she is finished reading, make a positive comment on:

  • Your child’s reading, i.e. “Jason you really seem to enjoy this book. I like the way you read so fluently.” 
  • A strategy the child used when reading, i.e. “I like the way you looked for the little word ‘be’ inside the big word ‘because’.

3. Explore the new book with your child by:

  • Predicting what the story may be about from the title
  • Have your child do a picture walk
  • If it is a longer book/chapter book, you and your child can decide how much you will read together

4. Read the book together:

  • You can start reading and encourage your child to chime in when he/she is comfortable
  • You should take the lead during the first reading

5. The child reads the book/part of book independently the second time. You should provide support when needed using the strategies found on the bookmark. (look in the file "Stuck on a Word Bookmark")

6. During the reading your child might substitute a word that is meaningful. Please don’t say anything until the child has finished the page. Then point to the word and ask him/her what the word is. Ask the child if it is the same word that they had read. Make the child aware that a meaningful substitution when reading is something that good readers do occasionally.

7. If the child substitutes a word that doesn’t make sense in the passage and he/she doesn’t make any attempt to correct the word, stop the child at the end of the sentence and ask him “Does this make sense?” Then have him reread the sentence and encourage him to use an appropriate reading strategy to figure out the word. Have the child reread the sentence for meaning. “Does it make sense now?”
*This should only occur two or three times per page during the reading, otherwise the book is too difficult.
8. When the child has finished reading, check his understanding by:

  • Sharing a favourite part of the story
  • Connecting the story with a personal experience
  • Tell about a funny part, if appropriate
  • You can model this by sharing your responses with the child

9. Please compliment the child on their effort and/or reading skills.  

Land Acknowledgment

Rocky View Schools would like to acknowledge the land and recognize all the Indigenous Peoples whose footprints have marked these lands from time immemorial. Together, we can learn and honour the Ways of Knowing of Indigenous Peoples for all future generations.