1. Have Repetition and Be Predictable: Do you remember how smart you felt, as a kid, when you figured out what was going to happen next in a story? With toddlers, it’s important to include books that contain repetitions, as they mature, add predictable and rhyming books. Read stories again and again. Your toddler enjoys repetition and it helps them become familiar with the way stories are organized.
2. Use Expressions & Rhymes: The beauty of reading with children is that you won’t be reading to a peanut gallery of harsh critics – release your inhibitions! Read with expression using different voices for different characters. This change in tone can help keep the child engaged and also teaches the art of storytelling – which is one of the benefits of our hands-free video storytelling platform! Toddlers also love rhythms and rhymes in stories, give them opportunities throughout the story to repeat rhyming phrases. Better yet, add a tune to it.
3. Have Child Repeat: Encourage your child to repeat what you say or comment on it and
encourage them to ask questions. Provide models of interesting questions and examples of possible answers. “I wonder where they are going to next? I think the bear will trip in the rock because he is not paying attention to where he is going. What do you think?”. Also encourage your child to make paying attention to where he is going. What do you think?”. Also encourage your child to make up next steps in the story, such as- “what would you like to see happen next”? This is the spark that storytelling causes in an imagination!
4. Make it a Routine/Habit: Make reading a habit for bedtime, after lunch, or after naptime. Research abounds on the benefits of daily reading for a child’s foundation of literacy for life. Combine reading with an encounter with relatives that are distant for uber-enhanced bonding! Bedtime stories happen every night, so pick one night a week and your child will begin to look forward to this reading time on the computer (or tablet) – as will the family member committed to this time with the child. You can even calendar the reading day so that they know when it is coming. Have them put stickers on each reading day so they can see when it is happening. Kids often approach the habit of reading as a chore, so by integrating it with computer privileges makes it cool and the storytelling dynamic teaches them about creativity.that has
Here is a great website: http://ht.ly/9A5ww
Currently you will find a study on this website that now gives us evidence for something most of us already knew anyway. Playing with your young children will pay off in future years. This study focused on toddlers and the same set of children later during their 5th grade school year. There were a number of interesting findings, but one I want to highlight is the mention of “stimulating activities” with toddlers that were linked to a positive academic achievement later in life. According to this study these activities included:
“encouraging and engaging in pretend play; presenting activities in an organized sequence of steps; elaborating on the pictures, words, and actions in a book or on unique attributes of objects; and relating play activity or book text to the child’s experience…”
So this begs us to ponder: “Is work, play? Or is play, work?”
Recently I have come across an interesting by product of reading instruction in our schools and it has given me some new perspectives. This year I have given a reading assessment to about 50 middle school students over the past couple months. This involves students reading aloud a passage and then I ask about ten comprehension questions about the text. All the while I am making note of reading behaviors and how successful they are with the text. I noticed something striking. The vast majority did not look back to the text at all, in spite of the fact I told them before they started to read that the text would remain in front of them and they could use it all they wanted to. Sometimes they were successful not looking back. Often times they were not. After the assessment was over I would sometimes re-ask a question they missed and direct them to look back to the text to help them and usually they were able to then give an acceptable response to the question.
This lack of text use tells me they don’t see the text as a place to go back and dig or even meander. In and out. Done. I can almost see it in their eyes, “Why on earth would one venture back into that maze of words?” These are just guesses on my part and the middle school mind is somewhat of a mystery to us all, but I am certain that we could do a better job teaching reading in our school. As an educator, standardized testing lingers in the recesses of my mind ALWAYS. However, that shouldn’t get in my way of teaching students that reading is not a race. Much like life, it is all about the journey!
One of my absolute favorite authors on this topic is Kelly Gallagher. I am constantly dropping his name and sharing his resources in my place of work. One inspiring book he wrote a few years back is called Reading Deeply, which kind of says it all. Chris Tovani is another educator who has written a number of books on literacy instruction and uses many real life examples throughout her work. These authors are easy to read, practical and immensely logical on this topic.
"Fur and Feathers" - Sylvan Dell Publishing on BeThereBedtimeStories.com
So what’s a PARENT to do about this reading race? I think that if we make reading a regular, relaxing, and enjoyable event kids won’t see reading so much as a race to get through it but a journey to remember. I read to my girls most nights. I myself am going to make a point to not just use the single speed and direction model of reading (steady and forward), but to stop from time to time to ponder something out loud and even go back to check out the text we have already read to support my ponderings. While I usually try to make the reading fun, I don’t think I have lingered on the words enough. So what if we don’t get through even one chapter. I think kids like to talk about what is going on in the story as much as reading about it. I am going to work harder on making each journey one that they will not soon forget.
Here is a question for you. What level of text is best for
students to read for getting better at reading? Here are your choices: text
that is challenging, text that is comfortable and easy, or text that is
somewhere in between. The answer is comfortable, easy text.
Whether your child is in kindergarten or high school, research
has shown (and common sense dictates), children will benefit from reading
continuous text regularly. Anytime you work to acquire a skill, regular
practice helps get you those skills. Think of it as doing laps!
Another important thing to keep in mind is to give your
child choice in what they are reading. Giving students the power of choosing
what they read is a motivator. They
will hone their reading skills whether they are reading a textbook or a comic
book or anything in between. It is important to make sure they are successful
with the text (it should be easy and comfortable for them). Leave the difficult and challenging text in
the classroom where teachers can help them negotiate the skills and new
knowledge that challenging text demands.
It is that time of year again for most of us. Freshly bought supplies are loaded up into backpacks and students nervously ponder all that may be in their new year. Here are some things to keep in mind as we all begin a new school year.
If you have the opportunity, volunteer to help your child(ren)s teacher. As a former classroom teacher I can attest that there is a
HUGE challenge daily to get to all the work to be done. First there is the important work (looking at classroom data and assessments, goal setting, lesson planning) and then there is all the busy work too such as photo-copying, cutting, filing, bulletin boards etc… Parents can help out in getting this busy work done. It is an enormous help for teachers in getting it off of their plate so that they can focus on instruction. Keep in mind you are there to help the teacher. As much as we may want to see our
precious little ones, don’t forget you are there to contribute to your child’s classroom in completing tasks the teacher needs done. This may mean spending your time in the teacher supply closet or photocopy room.
Secondly, at home we can ask our children to share about their day. Asking them to reflect and talk about the day helps them process information and help further learning occur. Here is my favorite saying that I heard recently: “He who talks the most, learns the most.” If the talking is done in a purposeful context learning is ‘cemented’ further. That is why talking is a
big part of all classroom learning these days. Students are asked to talk about the math problem they solved (or are struggling with), the essay they are writing and the reading they are doing.
That said, sometimes I struggle with my girls to tell me anything at the dinner table about their day. If anyone has some creative ways to get your kids to open up at the dinner table and share more about their day I would be happy to hear about it!