What reading experts say:
Hearing the different sounds that make up words is one of the most important pre-reading skills. Understanding that words are combinations of sounds helps children break the code between spoken language (sounds) and written language (words). It is important for incoming Kindergartners to be able to hear and differentiate sounds in words.
Words that rhyme, more than non-rhyming words, help children distinguish the smallest parts of speech - called phonemes - that make up words. Once children are aware of sounds within words (phonological sensitivity), they can blend sounds together to form words and then read words.
Use nursery rhymes and rhyming games to help children focus on sounds, and use sounds to make words. Help children develop their listening skills so they can more easily differentiate one sound from another.
What good readers know:
Good readers know their nursery rhymes. They can recite familiar Mother Goose rhymes, begin to create their own silly rhyming songs, make up rhyming pairs in made-up rhyming games ("I like to eat peas while sitting on my knees") and clap a steady beat as they recite familiar rhymes.
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Go to the Main Library and meet some of your favorite characters from books. Check the Library's program calendar at www.WB-Buzz.org to find when Froggy, Splat the Cat, Corduroy, Ladybug Girl, Pete the Cat, Clifford and others will visit the Main Library.
Practice counting up and down. Start with the first day of this month and count all the days to 31 and then count back down to 1.
Read five books from the "Reading" booklist.
Choose a book from the "Reading" list. As you read, point out important words to draw your child's attention to the printed words. Ask your child to find a few words based on the beginning sound.
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Tell your child stories and reminisce about your childhood. You might even put these stories in a book and add old family photographs. Describe things that happened at on special days, holidays, birthdays, vacations. Talk about your family, specific family members and how special each person made you feel.
- When walking down the street with your preschooler, stop and ask questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. "Which leaves are the same?" "What do you see around you?" "What else grows on trees?"
- Ask "what if" questions. "What would happen if we didn't shovel the snow?" "What if that butterfly lands on your nose?"