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Syllable Reading Exercise

Some problem readers seem to get stuck on a word and stay there too long to have a good flow when reading. They put too much time and energy in decoding the words that they are not likely to comprehend what they read. This exercise is designed to help children flow better while they read.

Syllable Reading is a great exercise to do after vowel recognition has been mastered. It helps with word attack skill and the rate of flow while a children reads. Just as vowel recognition should only be used with children that have adequate developmental vision abilities and letter identification skills, these abilities are prerequisites for Syllable Reading. Make sure that these skills have been developed before attempting syllable reading.

Syllable Reading will be very unnatural at first. The child may struggle, but over time the child will get used to reading in syllables. Syllable reading also helps children pay close attention to the words they are reading and looking at the ending of the word also to see if there is an s at the end or not. Many poor readers leave off the ending of words. Syllable Reading helps to correct this problem.

This exercise requires the use of a metronome (actual or digital) and a short paragraph from the participants grade level or within their ability to pronounce the words. This exercise can be very frustrating for poor readers. Try to push the child or encourage the child to go through the steps, but never to the point that the child starts crying. Use frequent praise and encouragement and celebrate personal advances. Do not do this exercise for more than 20 minutes a day.

Step by Step Instructions.

1. Set the metronome for a comfortable rate for the participant (usually about 70 beats per minute). Some children will need a slower beat. It does not matter where the child starts in terms of beat, what is important is that it is the most comfortable beat for the child (not too fast and not too slow). You can also snap a beat with your fingers if you do not have a metronome and only if you have relatively good consistent rhythm.

2. Have the child sound each syllable of the words in the paragraph to the beat of the metronome. The s at the end of a word counts as a syllable and should get its own beat.

3. At first the child will make several errors. Model the technique to the child by doing a whole sentence yourself. Then have the child say the sentence with you. Do this until the child has mastered one sentence.

4. At the beginning, this may be a time to quit. If the child can continue without crying, do another sentence. If there was many mistakes, redo the sentence according to the guidance of step 3.

5. If many mistakes were made before mastery of the second sentence was achieved, re-read the first two sentences using one beat for every syllable in the sentences.

6. Try to finish reading the whole paragraph if the child is not to the point of crying. Do not do this exercise longer than 20 minutes. If there is more time and willingness, go on to another paragraph.

7. When the child gets good at being able to read one syllable with one beat, increase the rate of the metronome. This exercise is mastered when the child can read a whole paragraph without making more than two mistakes at a rate of 120 beats per minute. As the child approaches mastery, you should see a significant difference in the way your child is able to read out loud.

Exercise: Vowel Recognition Exercise.

Time: Time: about 10 to 20 minutes depending on how on how frustrating it is for the child that day.

Recommended Frequency: once a day, 5 or 6 days per week until Step 7 has been achieved

Materials Needed. Metronome (actual or digital), a paragraph or two at the child's reading ability.

Pretest Assessment: participant with good developmental vision and can identify quickly letters of the alphabet but have a poor flow of words when they are reading.

Mastery. participant can read a whole paragraph by saying one syllable per beat with only 2 mistakes or less to a beat set at 120 beats per minute. Remember every word that is plural with an s at the end, the s gets its own beat.

Additional comments: This is a great verbal exercise that is great to add balance to as the child gets better. The type of balance exercise is not important. There are many balance exercises listed in our balance section. It can be as simple as standing on one foot or standing on a balance board, or wobble board. After this exercise is mastered, the child will be ready for Comprehension if there exists problems with reading comprehension.

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