Friday, March 23, 2012

Encouraging Your Developing Reader

Reading to children is a critical part of developing an interest in language and books.

Setting up a time where children can expect to be read to will give them a sense of comfort that only a routine can give. As you read, run your finger under the text to help establish a connection between the words that are being read and the words on the page. You may even talk about letters and the sounds letters make, or the fact that letters build words and words together become stories.

Don’t be discouraged if toddlers wriggle around, stand or even play during reading time. This does not mean that the child isn’t interested or is not listening. As toddlers grow, you can draw them in by asking, “What is happening in this picture?” This will help to develop a sense of using picture clues while reading.

Cat in the Hat and companions visit DCM.
Dr. Suess books can be a fun part of any shared reading time!
 In addition, making predictions is a reading strategy that can peak a child’s interest in reading before a book is even opened. Ask, “What do you think this story is about?” while looking at the cover of the book. Making predictions together can also help keep a child interested once you start reading. During the story you may ask, “What do you think will happen next?” Encourage all answers and don’t worry about making an incorrect prediction.

Reading skills can blossom with guidance from supportive adults and caregivers. Share reading time with a child and check with your local library to learn about programs that utilize early literacy strategies to encourage reading.

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