Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reading to your child is more than just reading.

Sharing the pleasure of a good book with your child is something parents and caregivers know we should do.   And listening to stories for pleasure in early childhood lays the framework for becoming a good reader later on. 

You can strengthen your child’s reading skills before he can even read independently!   Early literacy skills, as teachers call them, are simple to add to your nightly story time routine.

The next time you pick up a book with your toddler or young child, add one of these strategies below to your story time. 

Doing this…
Teaches this…
And lays foundations for…
Have your child describe what is on the cover of the book…
Stimulates imagination
Introduces prediction
Increases fluency/vocabulary

Building inference skills Establishing reasons for reading
Follow the words with your finger (not through the whole book, just point to a few sentences or repeated phrases every couple pages)

1 –to-1 text correspondence
Right-to-left and top-to-bottom progression of text on a page
Conventions of writing
Fluent reading
Sound out a simple word (s-t-o-p. ess-tee-oh-pee, stop) for your child.  Then have her sound it out with you.

Letter sounds

Decoding (sounding out) unfamiliar words
Spelling, syntax and grammar
Before you turn the page, have your child guess what will happen next.  Model reasons for your guesses.  See if you were correct.


Sequence of events
Reasonableness of answers
When the book is done, go back to the beginning and flip through the pages: retell the story in your own words*.  When you child’s familiar with this, have him help you then finally let your child retell the whole story in his own words.

Pictures are text clues
Story structures
Reading strategies
Note-taking skills

Ask your child who the good guy/bad guy was in story, where the story took place, what the main problem the characters had.  How did they solve their problem?
Importance of events in story
Sequence of events
Character traits

Reading strategies
Retelling stories
Literary analysis
Literary themes

*This is called Picture Walking, and I recommend it when you don’t have time to tell the whole story, too!)

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