What reading experts say:
The National Reading Panel states that reading comprehension is the "essence of reading." Comprehension is critically important in the development of children's reading skills and therefore the ability to obtain an education.
Initially, children understand only the literal meaning of what is read to them. Higher thinking skills and more complex comprehension develop and grow the more children are read to. Discuss what is going on in the stories you read aloud. Talk about abstract ideas such as feelings; make predictions and inferences.
As you read a new book:
What good readers know:
- Read the title, look at the cover illustration and ask your child to predict what the book is all about.
- Read the first page or two and ask what might happen next.
- When you have read half or more of the book, ask your child how he thinks the story will end.
Good readers do more than just figure out letters and words. They think about the meaning of what they read. Good readers talk to themselves while they are reading and ask questions when they are confused about what is happening in a book. They make predictions about the story based on the cover and are interested in discussing the story and characters.
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Use the calendar as a number line for simple addition problems. For example, start with March 10. Ask your child, "What date is two days more than March 10?" Count the days. Write the addition problem: 10+2= 12
Read five books from the "Counting" book list.
Go to the Library and check out something you've never tried before: a magazine, a Read-Along book, a Big Book or an Early Literacy Kit.
Cover each day of this month with a penny. Count the total number of pennies. Arrange them into groups of five. Then groups of ten. Explain that 5 pennies= 1 nickel and that 1- pennies= 1 dime.
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Practice counting objects (cars, toys, food, etc.). This increases the ability to count accurately. Sing songs, or practice counting backwards. This skill is a little more complex but still supports the ability to see relationships between numbers.
- Practice prepositions, directionality, or spatial awareness with your preschooler. These concepts seem so obscure to young children (over, under, after, before, in back of). But for preschoolers it helps to introduce the concept of shape, size, space, position, direction and movement.
- Measurement for preschoolers is a fun topic. Use words such as bigger, smaller, larger, taller or shorter when describing an object. You can also use measurement as a frame of reference for time or cooking to help your preschooler begin to use words in terms of measurement.