Decoding skills are crucial for third graders. They can make the difference between success and difficulty late on down the road. You child should be able to recognize familiar words and figure out new words. They are more independent these days, but they still need you to guide them.
Try these activities for building good decoding skills.
Your child should work on enlarging their vocabulary skills. Introduce a “word of the week” to them. Play hangman.
Parts of Speech
Kids love silliness, so create your own “Mad Libs.” Write stories with left out words. Have your child figure out which part of speech is needed--noun, verb, adjective, adverb--and ask them to fill in the appropriate words in the blanks.
Say a word aloud, such as dog, and tell your child to write as many related words as possible. They might call out “bark,” “growl,” “spotted” or “doggie, ” “puppy,” or “hound.” Discuss how the list of words are alike and different. Draw a Venn diagram to show the relationship of the vocabulary words.
Make up “crazy” words and ask your child to write them based on how they sound. Include words with digraphs such as “ch” and “sh.” Encourage them to make up new crazy or wacky words and figure out their spellings.
Prefixes and Suffixes
Design a matching game in which your child has to draw lines from prefixes and suffixes to their meanings. In keeping with the “crazy or wacky” word idea, have your child add prefixes and suffixes to their made-up words. If your child says that “dizzle” means happy, then “undizzle” will mean unhappy.