What reading experts say:
Research by Dr. Paul van den Broek from the University of Minnesota concluded that preschoolers' ability to make meaningful connections between events in their lives and stories in books is a strong predictor of later reading comprehension.
Parents can increase comprehension by more actively involving children in the reading experience. Studies have shown that there are significant gains in children's literacy skills when parents and children talk during shared reading times and children have a chance to explain how a story relates to their own lives.
What good readers know:
Good readers make connections between what they are reading and what they already know. ("This book says that monkeys eat bananas. But monkeys eat leaves too, because I saw them eating leaves when we went to the zoo.") Good readers also enjoy discussing how a character is similar to or different from them and how they would react to a situation faced by a character in the book ("What would I do if our dog started talking one day like Martha in Martha Speaks
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Use the calendar as a number line for simple subtraction problems. For example, start with May 10. Ask "What date is two days before May 10?" Count down two days. Write the subtraction problem: 10 - 2 = 8.
Go to the Library and check out at least three music CDs. Try jazz, Latin or orchestral music especially for children. Pick up a copy of the Library booklet, "Nursery Rhymes, Songs and Fingerplays."
Make up a song or tune that includes your address and phone number. Sing it together so your child can learn both.
Read five books from the "Singing" booklist.
Activities - Singing:
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Singing songs is a great way for young children to practice language and early literacy skills. When children sing, they practice pronunciation words, speaking, rhythm, tone, rhyming and experimenting with their voice.
- Songs with hand motions and gestures help children practice fine-motor skills and hand eye coordination. Doing the finger motions for the "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" helps children practice their hand eye coordination and fine motor skills, both necessary for writing and handling small objects. Dancing to music also helps children perfect their control of their arms and legs. Music and dance are fun, but also great for a child’s gross and fine motor development.
- Listening to music can help children understand emotions. Music can be soothing and comforting such as lullabies or soft classical music. Other types of music may be identified as scary, sad or happy. Play different types of music for your child and see what emotions they feel while listening. Have your child draw or paint while listening to different types of music, have them use the music to determine how to draw or paint.
- Music and singing can help children follow directions, listen and complete routines. Clean-up songs, hand washing songs, bath time songs all help encourage a routine. Many songs help with transition from one activity to another. This helps keep consistency and enhances listening skills.
- Music can provide a great range of sensory experiences for young children. Kids love hearing music, singing songs, and moving to the beat. These experiences provide wide variety of tastes, smells, textures, colors, and sounds that creates multi-sensory learning experiences in young