Reading and reading books for first graders

Reading is much more than decoding letters and words. Learning to read creates the prerequisite for participation in social understanding. Learning to read is therefore crucial. There are plenty of books for first graders. Independent reading and also reading aloud is particularly important for six- and seven-year-old children. But: reading doesn’t work from the beginning: important bases have to be created.

The letters of the alphabet and the sounds to it are to be learned first. Some children find reading easy and the learning process is effortless, other children have problems and find learning to read difficult. Since reading is the foundation of all learning, it is indispensable. We have researched how parents can support, promote and motivate the child and what to look out for when buying reading books.

What is important when learning to read?

Beginners must recognize letters first, then the letters can be assigned to sounds. Parents can support their child by starting small reading exercises. For example, if an object is pointed at, the child can say the name of the first letter. It is important that only the vowels are pronounced. When enumerating the ABCs, B is not “Be”, but “B”. This is the only way the child can understand how words are pronounced. Letters then result in simple words step by step.

It is a sense of achievement for every child when he or she puts together the first syllables and words from sounds. A child must also overcome quite a few challenges: decipher double consonants, diphthongs and the sound groups “ch” and “sch”, which are quite common and learn to pronounce this combination of letters. Praise and motivation are the best support!

There are also numerous free of charge reading exercises on the Internet to support the child properly. Parents should have their children read the words aloud and practice repeatedly.

If the child can pronounce words correctly, there are numerous exercises to promote the joy of the language and the feeling for it. For example, rhyming words can be found or words can be assigned to specific subject areas. In doing so, the child understands the meaning of words.

How furniture can help you learn to read

“Why don’t you just sit up straight?” Parents and teachers ask for a better posture when children’s noses almost touch the book or exercise book. When children sit correctly and relaxed, it is easier to learn and read. moll has already introduced a tilting table top more than 40 years ago. It does what a child does intuitively when reading, for example: it holds the book at a specific angle to avoid a crooked posture. This is called somatic intelligence.

It describes the the feeling for your own body and the feeling for intuitively doing what is good for the body. Dr. Dieter Breithecker of the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Haltungs- und Bewegungsförderung e.V. explains: “Which angle is ideal for the respective activity cannot be defined in a spreadsheet. If a table with a flexibly tiltable top is available, one can rely on the somatic intelligence and change the angle of inclination precisely to suit.”.

All desks from moll have desktops that can be tilted: The entry-level model Joker comes with a tiltable top and the Winner desk for children also features tilt and height adjustment as a matter of course.

The top model of moll is the Table Champion. Its inclined position functions comfortably while sitting thanks to the two cable pulls at the front edge of the table. Simply pull the left rope hoist for lifting and when the plate is to be level again or lower, the right rope hoist is operated. Information about plate inclination can be found in our small video.

Which are good reading books to read by yourself?

Reading books is an exciting task for school beginners and first graders. Reading a book by yourself does not only mean recognizing and understanding letters, but also capturing their meaning. First reading books are adapted to the needs of beginners and simplify the first steps.

Therefore, reading literacy should also be promoted and supported besides school. Reading is a complex process that requires a lot of endurance and practice. For this purpose there are special first reading books, which fulfil certain criteria in design, content and language. The child is motivated to read if the text consists of a suitable font size and a modest number of letters.

We have compiled important criteria for a good reading book for first graders:

  • the book is structured in paragraphs, sections and chapters
  • large, sans-serif font in block capitals
  • large font size and a large line spacing
  • left-aligned flutter set (the eye can detect it faster and better)
  • little text with a high proportion of images
  • short, understandable sentences and few subordinate clauses
  • a short line length and line breaks after sence steps
  • word separations should not be present
  • few abstract nouns, nouns or difficult adjectives
  • a tense in the present tense

Books that suit the children’s interests are a good fit. If the book also contains colourful illustrations, it also helps to understand what has been read. Books for first-time readers should contain short stories from the children’s world with entertaining value. First reading books can tell about actions and persons that tie in with the child’s own experiences.

The text should be written in a language suitable for children and have a linear narrative style. Changes of perspective and time jumps are not recommended for first reading books. Ideally, reading books for first graders are about identification figures and have a clear, happy ending. Beautiful and numerous images support the understanding of the content.

The grandparents can give the child the first reading book for school enrolment or have the first reading book selected in bookstores when buying a school bag. This makes the child curious about the content.

What to do if children have problems learning to read?

If children have problems learning to read, the syllable method can help. Syllables are the structure of the German language and the syllable method is a basic technique  or learning to read.

The syllable method can be an intermediate step in understanding a word. Here the letters are merged into syllables – into several units. In this way, a word is captured step by step. In books for beginners who work with the syllable method, the syllables are colored in one word by the hyphenator. The division makes it easier to recognize the word as a whole. Many book publishers offer first-reading books with the syllable method.

Which children’s book series and books for beginners are available?

If a child has discovered the desire to read, the reading material at home should not be missing. From beginners to experienced readers – many book publishers offer children’s book series and books in different reading levels. Since school children usually have an exact idea of what they like to read, it is advisable to select a suitable book together with the child.

With a lot of practice, fun and support, the path to fluent reading is easier to master. And school children still love to get something read aloud to them by their parents and grandparents. Reading aloud, audio books and radio plays are wonderful companions for learning to read.