Tuesday Side Dishes
Harry Potter and the Cybils

Go, Dog, Go!

Wwwrandomhousecom_1 Go, Dog, Go! An easy book, right? It's fun—that's for sure. But if you're a first-grader working hard to read at grade level, Go, Dog, Go! is a real challenge. Picture clues abound: big dog and little dog clearly refer to illustrations of the same. But the words, they can trip you up.  To read P.D. Eastman's classic, you'll need to distinguish between tree, three, the, and there; out, of, on, in, and one; and go, going, to, and do. You'll have to recognize that the -ay in play ("Play, dogs, play!") makes a long a sound. For that matter, you'll have to know what a long a is. And forget said; at least it doesn't show up in this book. The sight word said can really throw a person for a loop. Sight words. The only thing to do is to memorize them.

Those are just a few of the myriad things that my first-grade reading buddies have to keep in mind when they read a book like Go, Dog, Go! Becoming a fluent reader is like getting to Carnegie Hall; the children need practice, practice, practice, in addition to the good instruction they get from their talented teachers. Some of the kids' reading-group books are 8 pages long.  Reading 8 pages can be very satisfying. So, when you and a fellow first-grader finish the last of 64 pages in Go, Dog, Go!, you have not only risen to the challenge, you have accomplished a lot. In fact, you should pat yourself on the back.

Go, readers, go!


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My second grader has a lot of trouble with "the" "there" "their" "they" and such. Even harder when you consider the different sounds of "they" and "there." English is so hard.

Learning to read is hard work. I sometimes equate it to not being able to type. It's so automatic now, but I remember when it wasn't. Typing was very difficult.

I agree that reading is darn hard work, and all of us parents/teachers/helpers/librarians/authors need to remember that when we work with kids on it. But isn't it such a rush when you see a child, on his/her own, actually ENJOYING a book?


I see these children once a week at their school, and I am always inspired by their perseverance. We really have fun playing things like sight-word bingo and other games, as well as reading.

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