Want to improve your child’s reading? Try the Dyad Reading Method

One of the most important things parents can do, other than to help their children grow up healthy and happy, is to help them develop excellent reading skills. Children’s ability to learn to read directly affects their performance in school and also how successful they are throughout their lives. Children can access the knowledge of the world when they learn to read well.

Everyone has heard the proverb “Practice makes perfect.” It is true that engaged reading practice is a powerful contributor to development of accuracy, fluency, and a high level of understanding of what is read. Lower-achieving children read three times less often than higher-achieving children (Allington, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1984; Allington & McGill-Frazen, 1989). Nothing motivates children to read like knowing how to read.

One effective way parents can read with their children to improve reading skills is to use the Dyad reading method. The procedure is simple:

  • Share one book
  • Sit side by side.
  • Use one SMOOTH finger.
  • Read with two voices.
  • Keep eyes on words.
  • Don’t go too fast or too slow.
  • Write down words you don’t know.

 Have fun!

The child can read with a parent, an older sibling, or a friend who is a strong reader. Read for 15 minutes and then discuss the words that were written down. Problem solve together to decode the words the child did not know and determine meanings. Show the child how to decode the words—break the words into syllables, identify root words, prefixes, suffixes, or compound words, and provide child-friendly definitions, emphasizing problem solving and decoding strategies. Show the child how to look up words on the Internet or how to use a dictionary. (Information from Building Readers, A Parent’s Guide, Utah State Board of Education, 2017)

If you would like to see Dyad reading in action, Granite School District has created a YouTube video demonstrating this method. Check it out here.