Reading Success in Grades 4 & Beyond

Reading success in higher grades focuses on developing more and higher level thinking skills.

  1. If your child is not reading at grade level at the beginning of fourth grade, it is important to get immediate intervention. If the school cannot provide this, contract for the services of a reading specialist or learning center. If you cannot afford it, try community tutoring programs. At minimum, ask a reading specialist for a diagnosis and a list of skills that you and the classroom teacher can work on. If you feel you can do this yourself, or with your child’s classroom teacher, our Reading Profile might be of some help.
  2. Some classroom teachers might say that a child has poor comprehension, but sometimes there are other problems, such as decoding deficiencies or fluency problems which influence comprehension but are not always recognized. A reading specialist should be able to determine exactly where problems lie. Time and/or money spent now (or earlier, in grades 2 or 3) will be well-spent in avoiding a combination of a heavy comprehension load with an inability to read grade level texts as your child progresses through school. If you cannot afford this, try to find a community center to help.
  3. Reading comprehension skills are most important for reading success in higher levels. Your child will be learning to
  • Find and explain the main idea of a paragraph.
  • Choose supporting details and eliminate unimportant details
  • Explain cause and effect in the text
  • Order events from the text in correct time sequence
  • Categorize
  • Draw logical conclusions
  • Predict and explain outcomes
  • Provide alternate endings
  • Understand figurative language
  • Relate text to previous text and learning
  • Explain his beliefs about and appreciation of text.


4. Content area reading and non-fiction are major components of reading in the intermediate elementary grades and beyond.

5. Study skills are very important, but they are often given short shrift in many classrooms. You can help! Nothing is better than an individual, one-to-one guide through the method of studying a textbook.

(See our Free Tip: How to Improve Study Habits and our Plan For Studying.

Have your child take our Study Skills Self-Help Test and/or our Reading Habits Self-Help Test.)

Talk to him or her about the answers. Discuss which ones (s)he will try to improve on this year.

6. The student must practice the skills being taught by actually spending time reading! Parents must assure adequate free time reading.

7. Teachers should assign reading for pleasure because, in many cases, this is the only extra practice their students might do.

To become a better reader, simply, read!


© Reading Spotlight 2020