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Rev up reading for first graders

Easy activities to help your first grader master essential reading skills.

By Catherine Ann Velasco

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Word scramble

Skill: Decoding

Pick a sight word at your child's level (note: if these words are too easy for your child, try second grade sight words) and make it the "word of the day." Have your child form the word from letters on the fridge. Mix the letters of that word up with other, random letters, and have your child find the letters to make the word again. Have your child repeat the game a few times, until she can easily make the word. See how many times your child can find the word in books, on street signs, and at the store, and keep a list of "sightings."

Catherine Ann Velasco has covered education and children and family issues for more than 22 years. She's won numerous awards, and served as a fellow of the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families and the Education Writers Association’s Statistics Boot Camp. Velasco lives near Chicago and can be reached at