Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Storytime for Adults?

In a way, yes! A key part of our Jump Start Reading at Home program is our parent workshop series, in which we help inform and assist parents in their critical role as their child’s first teacher. Last night at Seigle Avenue Church, Yvonne Thomas lead a workshop where she modeled storytelling skills for parents. This week’s emphasis was on vocabulary building. Studies show that children who enter school with larger vocabularies do better academically and are better readers, so Yvonne shared some tips with the parents on how to get their children engaged in learning more words.

Dialogic reading (asking “what” questions) is a great way to teach vocabulary and help your child give more complete descriptions about what he or she sees. As she read the story aloud, Yvonne paused to give advice and examples of what kinds of questions parents could ask while reading the same story aloud to their own children. In general, some vocabulary-building storytime tips include:

  • Point out the names of things your child may not know
  • Ask "what" questions - like "What's this?" or "What's this called?"
  • Follow answers with more questions
  • Repeat what your child says, to reinforce correct answers
  • Help your child with answers as needed
  • Ask open-ended questions, and ask your child to say more
  • Expand what your child says, to fill in the little words and add detail
  • Follow your child's interests
  • Have fun!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Six Building Blocks of Early Literacy

  • Narrative skills, which involve the ability to describe things and events and to tell stories.
  • Print motivation, in which children become interested in and enjoy books.
  • Vocabulary, or knowing the names of things.
  • Print awareness, in which children notice print, know how to handle a book and how to follow the words on a page.
  • Letter knowledge, in which children understand letters are different from each other, know their names and sounds and recognize that letters are everywhere.
  • Phonological awareness, in which youngsters are able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.

    Check back for photos and updates of how we're sharing these pre-reading skills with children and their parents in our community!

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