With a mother who truly loves reading and writing I was convinced my boys would feel the same. I mean I read to them as soon as I knew I had conceived. They LOVE for me to read to them but not as often as I would like, will they pick up a book to read just out of the blue. I actually have to tell them, “why don’t you read a book?” of they will ask me, “Mommy, can you read us this tonight?”. That to me is enough right now because at least they hear me read or they chime in. Making the book as fun and interesting as possible I believe is very important when reading. Here are the different forms of reading I have incorporated in our household:
Read Alouds are an all time favorite in our household. I make sure I model fluency and expression. I choose a text rich in meaning or language and during the read aloud they respond to pictures, meaning and language. We really get a deep discussion with these and we can talk for a long time about what happened in the book and the story elements. This is a book they usually love to come back to again and again. Oftentimes, I use it as a loop for my third graders writing if he needs to write about something and gets stuck on what to write about. I have him make that connection to a book we have read aloud and his writing flows nicely.
Guided reading is another way I introduce a new text to the boys. My three year old can’t read yet but he can comprehend and listen to his brother so he serves as his model. To complete this strategy you must know what level book your child is on. I would ask your child’s teacher or you can begin to do some research yourself using Fountas & Pinnell. This can be very helpful so that while reading your child isn’t frustrated and doesn’t become turned off to reading while reading independently. When you know your child’s level you can listen to him read, make observations on what he needs based on comprehension, or decipher if the text is too hard or too easy. This is mainly an independent task, so you as a parent can really gather a lot of information from this form of reading. You can also compare notes with your child’s teacher as well when needed.
Shared Reading is a great way for you and your child to read together. You both have the same book like I am doing now with my son. We are both reading E.B. White’s, Charlotte’s Web where we are focusing on elements, skills, reading strategies, conventions of print, and literary elements. We are having tons of conversation about the meaning of the story and we support one another as readers. I often act as if I have lost where I was reading, just to see if he is paying attention and staying on task. I also stop every so often after reading and ask thought provoking questions to see if he comprehends what we are reading. It’s a great way for us to bond as well.
Independent/Paired Reading is another great way for my third grader to act as a role model for his brother. I have him read to my youngest child so he can model fluency, listening to his brother read hopefully will inspire him to have that love for reading as well. I hear my three year old asking a lot of questions and his brother explains. This allows them both to comprehend what they are reading and develop their form of expression, as well as infer what they believe is going on based on what they have already read in the story.
Which form of reading do you practice at home?