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x-post Almost done with AAR2 but DS refuses to read stories

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My DS (7) is almost finished with the lessons in AAR2.  He understands the rules and applies them pretty well.  But, he refuses to read any of the stories in the books except the first two.  He is intimidated by the length of the stories and the number of words on the page.  He also is still sounding out the majority of words (in anything beyond the first two stories).  What do I do now?  I don't feel he is ready for AAR3.  How do I increase his confidence and word memorization??  Help??

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We had a similar problem :) My advice is to let him build fluency with the I See Sam books for a bit. (There are 8 sets). They have helped us like nothing else has. Good luck!

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Since he's still sounding out a majority of the words in AAR 2, I wouldn't move on to AAR 3. Also since the length of the stories intimidates him. Instead, I would work to build up his fluency. Here are some ideas for you:


For the stories: definitely break these up. He does not need to read the entire story in one sitting. Have him read for a specified amount of time--maybe 5 minutes to start, and see how far he gets. (You can round out your lesson time by working with tiles, doing activities or games, practicing word cards etc... choose a variety of things to do to keep it fun.) The next day, you re-read what he already read to keep the continuity of the story going, and then let him read another 5 minutes. Keep going until he finishes the story, and gradually over time, you may be able to lengthen the time he can read. 


He also doesn't have to do read it alone. If you used Pre-reading, I'd get Ziggy to help. If not, choose a favorite stuffed animal, puppet, rescue hero etc... to be a "reading buddy." He and his reading buddy could alternate paragraphs or pages. Maybe on day 1, he reads even pages and his buddy reads odd pages. Day 2 they switch, and then on day 3, he could try the story by himself. 


Sometimes "cold" reading is hard. Let him try practicing a couple of pages on the family pet first, and then try reading those pages aloud to you.


A lot of the tips for the practice sheets can help with the stories too (and there's some great ideas in the comments section too!)


For practicing the fluency pages and word cards (important to gain fluency here, as these will make reading the stories easier--if he can't read individual words, phrases or sentences fluently, it's harder to read a whole story fluently), I have a bunch of ideas on my blog. Also you can modify the idea from Swatting Phonograms--have him swat words that rhyme, or you call out a word, and he swats it, etc....


Oh, here's fun one from another mom's blog--sight words parking lot (and you can use word cards instead of writing the words in the spaces to be able to change out the words).


Here's an article on making reading and spelling stick that might be helpful to read. Some kids just need more practice and review along the way, so I would incorporate more review into your lesson times. Keep lesson short and fun (20 minutes is plenty), and keep encouraging him--reading is hard work!

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