Consider a reading resolution for this year! I might suggest to you to make reading nonfiction to/with your children a priority. By nonfiction here I mean an informational text that might be on a specific topic such as dinosaurs, pets, Mexico (the list is endless).
Astro the Steller Sea Lion / Sylvan Dell Publishing on BeThereBedtimeStories.com
Chances are teachers in your child’s school have shifted to make sure your child is reading more nonfiction due to the fact that it is part of the Common Core State Standards to make students College and Career Ready. Think about it. How much literature do you read on your job or in college? On the other hand, how much informational text (nonfiction) is required of us in our jobs or in our college classrooms? While reading and reflecting on good literature is an important part of a reading diet, nonfiction has been neglected for too long, especially in our primary grades. So this year when you snuggle up with your child to share in a good book, pick a nonfiction text that may be of interest to your youngster!
Have you ever said anything remotely like this, “If you continue to do —–, then you will have to go read in your room.”
As a classroom teacher who wants to make learning an enjoyable experience, I pledged long ago to never put the words “have to” in front of “reading” or “writing”. Don’t create the illusion that they are punishments. Instead, put the words “get to” in front of ‘reading’ or ‘writing’. Consider promising a reward of reading such as “if you get ——-done now, we can go read together” or “I will read to you whatever you like”.
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
Aunt Ali reads aloud with Cassie and Abby.
I recently read an article on how important it is for teachers to read and write alongside our students. We work to make both processes seem natural and something they will do for the rest of their lives and not just inside of a classroom. I am always thinking aloud while I read with my middle school students. I will stop and say things like “that doesn’t make sense, let me go back and re-read that” or “that didn’t sound right, I need to try that again”. Because this happens in our real-world reading we need to make sure students see that reading is not about calling out words perfectly but about reading so that it makes sense for us.
This article parlays perfectly into the reading done with any child of any age. While it is important for children to hear a model of good fluency, it is also important to draw back the curtain at times to show them the thinking that is going on behind the reading. Done in moderation, this kind of modeling is a simple but important part of reading to a child. It is a powerful way to get children to see the thinking that goes on behind calling out the words.