Monday, October 3, 2011

A Pre-Reading Habit

When you are reading aloud to toddlers, you can make it a habit to regularly pause before words that you think your child will be able to guess.  Place your finger on the word and wait for them to chime in.  It might feel like you are teaching them to guess instead of to read, but developing the kind of logic needed to figure out a word from context  is a big part of learning to read later on.  It's also a painless way to start practicing sight words (long before you think they're ready)

This works especially well with rhyming books.  For example, "Oh! They would put me in the zoo, if they could see what I can____"

"Do!" exclaims your child.

If they aren't able to guess, just supply the word and move on.  It's good to include some difficult pauses as well as easy ones to keep it challenging.

I employed this habit a lot when M was little, and I'm convinced it was really helpful for her.  Now I do it when I'm reading to little G, and she enjoys making a game out of it.

Do you have any other simple tips for developing reading readiness when your children are at the toddler stage?


maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This is a great way to develop literacy. We also enjoy making letters out of play dough, drawing them in cornmeal, and reading aloud signs when we are out and about.

ajpassey said...

This came so easily for my first child that I hardly noticed it at all. But with my second I didn't think of doing it specifically with her (and not her older sister) until she was at least 2 1/2 (awful, I know!) And when I first started with her she just looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights. So I said the word and moved on, but she still didn't seem to pick it up very easily. Then I started to say the word and the word it rhymed with a couple times in a sing-songy voice and that really helped her start to get it. Now she's a pro!

Other things we do to promote literacy skills is have books and other forms of written language all around. We also retell stories we've read to work on sequencing and details. Often I "can't" remember a part and so we go back to the book to read it again. This way they know that we get information from books. They love it.

Sue Walker said...

I like how you do it for difficult words too.  Making them stretch and then really feel good if they can figure it out.  Also not feeling like it is so obvious that they wouldn't want to answer (like in a class where the teacher asks questions with obvious answers)