January 03, 2012

"My child is ready to read... What do I do now?"

Congratulations!  You want to help your child learn to read!  Here are 4 key components to your child learning to love books and learning to read:

•    Read aloud to him/her everyday, even after s/he has learned to read
•    Make reading fun, not about skills and drills
•    Take the pressure off you and your child
•    Show them how s/he is already a reader

Learning to read is a process for a child at any age.  There is no specific age that indicates “it’s time for my child to read.”  As with all aspects of development, learning to read will happen at different ages for different children.  It’s important not to pressure your young child about learning to read.  Instead, look for ways they’re already reading and point this out to them.  This can include their recognizing signs, their name, letters, numbers, colors, etc.  When your child says (for example), “I see a stop sign”, be sure and say “Oh, you are a great reader – that does say “stop.”  You are letting your child know they are reading and that you’re proud of them.  These are KEY aspects of learning how to read.

Studies show that children are more likely to show strong interest and aptitude for reading on their own when they have people in their lives who consistently read aloud to them.  It is vital to read aloud to your child every day!  It’s never too early or too late to start.  Even after your child has mastered the skills of reading on his/her own, it is still very important to keep reading aloud each day.  It builds their listening skills, expands their vocabulary, increases their attention span, allows them to continue to enjoy stories that may be too difficult or too long for them to read on their own and most importantly, allows you to continue to share that sweet “book bond” – a bond that will last a lifetime!

Kathleen Ahern, Children’s Librarian
(509) 338-3258
Resources located in the library’s Parent Center (PC)
that can help you help your child learn to read:

The Read Aloud Handbook, 6th edition by Jim Trelease 
Offers proven techniques and strategies—and the reasoning behind them— for helping children discover the pleasures of reading and setting them on the road to becoming lifelong readers. Considered a cornerstone of literacy, Trelease imparts the benefits, rewards, and importance of reading aloud to children of a new generation.  Supported by delightful anecdotes as well as the latest research.

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
PC 028.1 FOX
Explains why reading aloud to young children has such an impact on their ability to read and their entire lives, and also discusses male readers, phonics, and the three secrets of reading.

What Children Need to Learn to Read: The Complete Parent's Guide to Ensuring Literacy, a Love of Reading, and School Readiness by Michelle Vallene.
Ultimate resource for parents and other adults who want to encourage literacy in young children. Packed with age-appropriate tips, techniques, fun activities, checklists, and common-sense suggestions to support your child as a reader.

Raising Bookworms : Getting Kids Reading For Pleasure and Empowerment by Emma Walton Hamilton.
Offers strategies and activities aimed at helping children appreciate reading and discusses how children benefit from the connection between reading and pleasure.

How To Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Codell
An exuberant treasure trove for parents who want to help their children develop a love of reading.  It includes thousands of titles along with “activities, ideas, and inspiration for exploring everything in the world through books."  Avaluable resource for nourishing readers, both the reluctant and the ravenous.

Growing a Reader from Birth by Diane McGuinness
Reviews the latest research revealing just how much infants, toddlers and preschoolers now and can express from the early months on and how this links to children’s mastery of reading.

Reading Games for Young Children by Jackie Silberg
Over 200 activities that will keep children ages three to six engaged, interested and entertained as they acquire the skills they need to become successful readers. Organized by elements of literacy, such as alliteration, alphabet, letter sounds and rhyming, this book provides research-based information on literacy development in young children.

Creating Readers by Pam Schiller
Over 1000 games, activities, songs, stories and more to get children excited about books and learning to read.

Literacy Play: Over 300 Dramatic Play Activities That Teach Pre-Reading Skills by Sherrie West and Amy Cox
PC 372.6 WEST
Chock-full of creative dramatic play activities that teach important pre-reading skills while bringing children’s imaginations to life.

Phonemic Awareness Activities for Early Readers by Wiley Blevins
Filled with fun activities for the K-2 student including phoneme discrimination, rhyme and alliteration, oddity task, oral blending, oral segmentation, phonemic manipulation, and linking sound to spelling.

There are also many other books in the Parent Center that can assist you in this wonderful journey of helping your child learn to read.  Many of these titles can be found with these call numbers:     028.1    155      371’s       372’s           401.93         649.58

Please let us know if you need assistance in any way.
This is YOUR library and we’re here to help you!

Where to find books in the library for beginning and blossoming readers
There are many “beginning reader” books published, with a wide variety of difficulty, content and length.  Finding “just the right books” can be exciting, rewarding and challenging. Many of these books are in our “JR” (Juvenile Reader) collection.  In this collection you will find:

1.    Books with blue and yellow spine tape.  These can be very good “first books” for your child to begin to read independently.  Be sure you read aloud the books to your child before having your child read them with you.

2.     Books with blue spine tape.  These are the “next step” of books in learning to read.  Your child may want to read these on his/her own or prefer you read them together.

3.    Packets of books in the blue baskets.  These books mirror the books in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms in Pullman Public Schools. Each packet has 5 books and the packet checks out as 1 item.  On the back of each packet is an “Emergent” or “Early Emergent” label. The “Early Emergent” books are “first steps” into reading and the “Emergent” books are the “next step” into reading. Again, have fun reading aloud the books to your child before having your child read them with you.

Tips for when your child is reading to you or with you:

•    Ask your child what they see or notice when they look at the book.  Ask them what they think the book might be about.

•    If your child comes to a word they don’t know, tell them what it is.  This will keep them from getting frustrated and thus, make the reading experience more fun (so they will want to keep reading more and more!)

•    Avoid saying the word “NO” when it comes to reading.  If your child doesn’t read a word correctly or doesn’t answer a question you’ve asked them about the book correctly, find another way to respond so they feel good about their reading time.  There are so many other times we have to say “NO” as parents – try and avoid it during reading time.

•    Have fun!  Have fun!  Read with different voices, make noises, laugh, giggle and talk.  Your child will associate “fun” with books and want to read, read, read – together and on his/her own. 

Picture Books

There are also a number of picture books that lend themselves to being read independently, after they’ve been read aloud with your child. These picture books are often called “predictable books” since the texts feature predictable repetitions and word patterns that result in a child being able to memorize parts (or the entire book) after hearing them read aloud several times. 

It is important to recognize that memorization is a very important reading skill! Too often, adults think that because a child has memorized a book, they haven’t “really read” it.  In fact, memorization is a huge step in learning to read.  So, as your child memorizes books and “reads” them back to you, be sure to let him/her know they ARE reading!  Use those words (“Listen to you read!”  “What a reader you are!”) with your child.  It will make a huge difference in how they see themselves and their own reading abilities and pleasures.

Picture books are filed by the FIRST THREE LETTERS of the author’s last name.

Martin, Bill Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Barton, Bryon The Little Red Hen
Butler, John Whose Nose and Toes
Cabrera, Jane The Wheels on the Bus (and other titles)
Carle, Eric The Very Busy Spider (and other titles)
Christlelow, Eileen Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (and other titles)
Crews, Donald Ten Black Dots
Dale, Penny The Boy on the Bus
Dana, Katharine Over in the Meadow
Ehlert, Lois Snowballs (and other titles)
Fleming, Denise Mama Cat Has Three Kittens (and other titles)
Fox, Mem Time For Bed
Hale, Sarah Mary Had a Little Lamb
Henkes, Kevin A Good Day
Hort, Lenny The Seals on the Bus
Hutchins, Pat Ten Red Apples (and other titles)
Lass, Bonnie Who Took the Cookies From the Cookie Jar
Lillegard, Dee Sitting in My Box
Martin, Bill Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See (and other titles)
Murphy, Mary I Kissed the Baby
Numeroff, Laura If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and other titles)
Raffi Shake My Sillies Out (and other titles)
Root, Phyllis One Duck Stuck (and other titles)
Rosen, Michael We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Shaprio, Arnold Mice Squeak, We Speak
Shaw, Charles It Looked Like Spilt Milk
Shannon, David No, David!
Weeks, Sarah Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash
Westcott, Nadine I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (and other titles)
Williams, Sue I Went Walking (and others)
Woods, Audrey Silly Sally (and other titles)

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