It is springtime! We are thawing out from a cold winter here in the midwest. We are approaching our frost-free date which is May 15th. This is the day we wait for before planting any annuals or vegetable gardens. It is advised to hold off on planting anything outdoors in order to avoid any overnight frosts that may do harm to our new little projects.
I also continue to grow my little readers inside the house as well. That is something I can do year round! Did you know that reading is different than word calling? Some children can word call beautifully, sounding out words and pronouncing them correctly, but without comprehending what they are reading it is not going to help them in school or in life. It is a domino effect. If kids have limited ability to comprehend what they read, they won’t have an opportunity to connect with it. Consequently, they will not find the act of reading enjoyable. They will avoid doing it and then get little practice in reading. They will be a frustrated reader and their reading growth will be stagnant and go nowhere.
There are many simple things parents can do as they read to or with their child. In the weeks to come, here at the Fablers Forum, look for simple reading strategies that are easy to use at home with your children every time you read. Incidentally, a very parent friendly read on reading comprehension is 7 Keys to Comprehension; How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It! By Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins.
Asking questions is under-rated! If you have a child who asks questions, encourage it and foster it. If they are conditioned to wonder about things it will make their school experience all the more rich and rewarding. A child who asks questions is engaged. Engagement is the most important thing for learning to occur (in my handbook). So the next time your child comes home from school (whether it be pre-school or college) instead of asking them what they learned that day, ask them if they asked a good question today!
Speaking of questions, here are some ideas for using questioning to engage your early reader.
- Questioning before, during and after reading does many things for the reader including
- Promotes curiosity and engagement
- Encourages Wonder
- Uses Imagination
- Grows a critical reader
Steps to Using Questioning with your Reader:
Look at the cover of the book together, noticing as many details as possible. Ask what questions they may have in looking at the cover. Generate some yourself such as “I wonder what happens to the girl on the cover.”, “ I wonder why she is holding books and pulling a wagon.”, “I wonder why people risk their lives to climb Mount Everest.” “I wonder what the problem in this story will be.” etc…
Encourage your child to stop and wonder during reading, asking as many questions as they may wonder. Jump in and do this yourself.
Think about what questions you may ask the author about the book.
Remember, some questions will be answered, some will not.
Are you still looking for ways to encourage your young child to read? Would you like to instill in your child a love of books? With your help, kids from toddlers to preschoolers can get a head start on the road to reading, even if they cannot yet read themselves. Here are a few suggestions help get you started from : – www.essortment.com
• Return to your child’s favorite books again and again. Make books available to your child at all times by placing them on a shelf within easy reach. This invites your child to look at books whenever he desires.
• Encourage preschoolers to “write” their own books. Let your child dictate stories or the events of the day to you, and write them down word for word. Allow her to add artwork or pictures cut from magazines. Then, read the book back to your child.
• As your child grows, look for books on subjects that are of special interest to his experiences and expanding knowledge.
Reading to our children can do more than simply help them excel in school; reading to them can instill a love of books that will last them a lifetime.