What reading experts say:
Letter recognition is an important prerequisite to learning to read. Successful beginning readers have a good knowledge of the alphabet, know letter names and understand that letters represent sounds.
Draw your child's attention to the visual form of individual letters in many different ways that are fun for you and your child.
Being able to recognize and name letters of the alphabet at entry into kindergarten is a strong predictor of reading ability in 10th grade. Ehri, L. and McCormick, S. Phases of word learning: Implications for instruction with delayed and disabled reader, Reading and Writing Quarterly
What good readers know:
Good readers understand that letters are different from one another and that each letter has a name and its own distinct sound. In Straight Talk About Reading
, authors Susan L. Hall and Louisa C. Moats say that most educators recommend teaching the letter name first, then the letter shape and finally the letter sound.
To be ready to read, children should know the alphabet song, upper case and most lower case letters and know the sounds each letter makes.
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Tell your child a story about your first day of school. Be expressive. Use new words your child does not know. Ask questions and respond to your child's answers.
Read five books from the "Talking" booklist. Remember to make a tally mark for each book. Do this every month!
Go to a Library program like "Saturday Morning Live" or "Pajama Storytime." Find program schedules at www.WB-Buzz.org
Play "I Spy" with numbers on the calendar. Say, "I Spy with my little eye, a number that is more than 8 but less than 10."
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Ask your preschooler many questions. Ask about their day at school/daycare, “What was your favorite part of your day?” “Who did you play with?” This encourages children to recall events from their memory and discuss daily events.
- Preschoolers like to make up their own explanations. This allows preschoolers to make sense of the world around them and use their imagination. Encourage your child to use their imaginations, tell stories, and describe situations to increase vocabulary and resourcefulness.
- Create opportunities to talk together. Play a game like "Would you rather?” where you ask each other play scenarios and see which one you would rather do. Make sure you ask many questions and get a good description from your preschooler. Would you rather questions: Would you rather swim with sharks or play with a porcupine? Would you rather sleep all day or stay up all night? The possibilities are endless.