Today's Reading Tip: Benefits Of Using Your Finger While Reading Aloud

Today's reading tip comes from a question I received regarding using your finger while reading aloud to your child. 

You all probably already know many of the benefits that come from reading aloud to your child (phonemic awareness development, fluency development, etc), but did you know that using your finger to point to words as you read also has big benefits? 

When you read to your child at night, do you show him the pictures? Of course you do! One reason to do that is so he can tell what the story is about even if he does not understand all of the words you are reading.  Now that your child is beginning to understand that words on a page mean something as well, you should be pointing them out too-and I do mean that literally.  By pointing to the words on the page as you read them, you are teaching your child one-to-one correspondence.  This skill will help him develop an understanding that each word has a meaning, and that every word is made up of a series of sounds (or phonemes).  This understanding is an important concept to master in order to begin reading independently.

HINT: DO NOT point to each word with a sharp movement under the word.  Instead, slide your finger along under the words as you read.  Children who adopt this movement themselves when reading are more likely to read faster and more fluently!


  1. Ever since my son started learning to read this year, he makes me put my finger under the words. I always wondered what the reason behind that was, but it does make sense that even if you're just sliding it along, they learn to see sentence structure.


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