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Archive for the ‘Motivating kids to read’ Category

Day 5 Three Questions

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Welcome to day 5. Has your summer been as jam packed as mine? Well, I hope along with reading that you and your children are able to also have lots of fun. Today we are going to be taking a look at the three types of errors that kids typically make when they are reading and come up with some questions that can help them fix their errors on their own. Just like in the try again strategy, you want to get your child to be responsible for correcting his/her own reading errors. If you do it for the child, then you become the strategy called ask a parent instead of encouraging the child to figure it out.

The three magic questions are
1. Does it look right?
2. Does it sound right?
3. Does it make sense.

There are also three specific times that you ask these questions. Let’s take a look at an example of does it look right.

Child: “It dumped into Rani and Brother Dove.”

Parent: “Does that look right?” (Parent points to the word dumped.)

Child: “Oh, I meant bumped.”

In this example the child fixed her error immediately upon the question being asked. Many times kids will flip b’s and d’s. However, when they read it in context for a second time he/she is able to usually fix it.

The second question is does that sound right. The purpose of this question is to focus the child’s attention to sentence structure. Often times children will read the way that they speak and not notice the way that it was actually written. Also, kids will make tons of errors on the little words, inserting a different little word in it’s place. For example,

Child: “It took off his mask.”
Parent: Does that sound right?
Child: “Not really.”
Parent: “Try Again.”
Child: “He took off his mask.”

Parent: “Great, you fixed it yourself.”

Notice how it would not be grammatically correct with his in the sentence. The point of the question is not to be nit picky, but rather get the child to correct his/her own errors.

The last qustion is does that make sense. This question promotes the reader to make sense of what he/she is reading. Here is an example.

Child: “I am always the lion wolf.”
Parent: “Does that make sense?”
Child: “No”
Parent: “Try again.”
Child: “I am always the lone wolf.”
Parent: “Does that make sense?”
Child: “Yes.”
Parent: “Excellent, keep going.”

In this example, lion instead of lone does not make sense. It kind of looks like lion. It begins the same and it ends in the same sound, but it does not make sense. If reading does not make sense, then kids can develop comprehension problems and a low motivation to want to read independently.

When it comes to reading, the goal always needs to be to foster independence. Often times in our busy lives it is much easier to fix the mistake for the child, but this is not really helping him/her reach the goal of fixing the mistakes on his/her own. Odds are, that when he/she comes to a word on his/her own and get’s it wrong, then he/she will just keep reading and it will effect his/her overall comprehension.

 

Day 4 Read in a Fun Place

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Today, go somewhere fun to read your book with your child. You can go outside, go to a park, or to your local library. Reading at the library actually motivates your child to want to find other titles to read as well without having to break the bank. You can say yes to as many books as they want and encourage them to read what they have picked out.

Today is the beginning of the summer reading program at our library and during the summer months the library does special events to encourage and motivate kids to read. All library summer programs look different, but they usually consist of kids logging the amount of time that they read and some special programs.

This year my kids were excited to join a couple of book clubs. The Friends of the Library donated books and the kids actually get to keep the books. The way it works, is that the kids read the book and then they come to the library to talk about them. It is only one 45 minute session per book, so it is fun and motivating for them.
As soon as my kids got their books yesterday, they began reading them immediately. Then they also looked for books in the library to read in order to fulfill some of their reading minutes. What I love, is that this is all through the idea of a suttle suggestion. I don’t tell my kids how long they need to read or what they have to read. All those decisions are made by them.

Our summer program is only for the months of June and July. I have found that by August, the kids are not as motivated anymore. No worries, school starts back up soon and they will get into their new routines there soon enough.

 

Day 2 Begin Reading

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Today’s challenge is to simply start reading the book that you have chosen together. You may have already started doing this because your child was so excited. But, in case you didn’t there are some things to think about.

1. How to read the book
2. Commit to 30 minutes a day

First, you want to think about how you are going to read the book. Some kids like to read one page while the parent reads the other page. However, for some kids this is overwhelming. If this is the case, then I suggest that you switch off after each paragraph. This will give your child more breaks and make both of you feel less stressed out.

I highly suggest that you stay away from each of you switching off by chapters. I have noticed that kids seem to lose attention pretty quickly and that it is difficult to keep them on task.

The suggestions that you will get in the days to come will help with what to do if you notice that your child is off task. To begin with you shouldn’t notice that this is much of an issue because they are usually really excited to begin this process with a book that they have chosen with you.

Second, you want to make at least a 30 minute commitment to this activity each day. If the parent is reading half of the pages, then your child is reading for about 15-20 minutes. Children should read for at least 15 minutes a day. With summer and warm weather approaching, many children will feel tempted to play outside or play their video games instead of immersing themselves with a good book.

Studies have been done which correlate the number of minutes a child reads at home to SAT scores. Not so surprisingly, the children that read for the most minutes at home ended up with the highest scores. I am sure that there are other factors in place here with this study, but if the solution to high SAT scores was reading with your child for 30 minutes a night, wouldn’t it be worth it. Check out the results of a dad who made this commitment and this one girl’s success.

Happy reading!

Day 1 Find a Book

20120523-112121.jpgToday’s challenge is pretty simple. All you have to do is find a book that both you and your child will enjoy together. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is get a book that only your child will enjoy. This will not motivate you to continue on with the rest of the challenges. When you have desire, your child will have desire.

I always get asked where the best place is to get a book. There are tons of places that you can go. My favorite place is the library or http://www.paperbackswap.com because these will give you wonderful free books. Who doesn’t love FREE? It is my favorite word.

Another great place to get books is at rummage sales if you have time, or from Amazon. I like that Amazon gives you the choice if you would like an e-book version or a hardcopy. I also like that if you have the Prime it will get to you in 1-2 days. It is very reliable.

Another great idea is to talk to relatives and friends. Ask them what books their kids have enjoyed reading. Maybe there is a book that they could hand down to you or loan. Everybody always loves passing on a great book. I know I do.

Anyway, have fun with this. Select a few books that you would be interested in and then have your child make the final decision. Anyway that you can include choice in this process will equal tons of success. If you force kids to read books they have no interest in, then they will bring in team resistance. And believe me, that is one strong team.

What are you waiting for? Find a great book to enjoy with your child. See you tomorrow for the next challenge.

Reading to Your Child is the Simplest Yet Most Important Thing You Do Together

Cover of "Raising a Reader: A Mother's Ta...

Cover via Amazon

Teaching a child to read and to love reading is perhaps the most important learning related thing you can do for your child. Reading is necessary for nearly anything your child might want to do with his or her life, and a strong reader can use reading to learn about anything they might wish to learn about. Give reading the priority is deserves in your home and you will raise a competent reader who loves to read.

Make your home reader friendly. Be sure to take the time to read things that you enjoy and let your children know about it. Leading by example is much more effective than lecturing your child on the importance of reading. Make a wide variety of books available to your child right from the start. Simply having books in your home for babies and young children to look at is an excellent start. If finances are an issue for you, a visit to your local library is in order. You will be able to check out lots of great books for children and adults for free. Even if you have books at home already you have purchased, consider using the library to add more variety to your collection of books.

Read to your children everyday from birth. As your child grows older you can read together as he or she learns to read, and eventually have them read to you. But when you have babies and very young children, the best thing you can do for them is read to them and make it a fun experience. Your local library can also help with this. Many libraries hold regular story times for children of all ages. Attending story time is another chance to expose your child to more reading, and good children’s librarians will read books in a very animated and engaging way.

The books you or your child choose are important. Share favorite books you loved reading as a child and your excitement will be evident to your child. Just as important as reading to your child is impressing upon them the joys of reading. Allow your child to visit bookstores and the library and choose books about the things that they love. What you read about isn’t as important as simply reading, and choosing books that you and your child enjoy will make reading something your child looks forward to doing.

Partner with your child’s teacher and choose books that relate to what your child is learning in school. You will be helping your child do well in school by reinforcing the concepts they are working on, while simultaneously practicing reading skills.

Be sure to allow your baby or child to participate in reading the story. When your baby or toddler points to pictures in the story be sure to encourage them by talking about what they see and asking questions. Ask young emerging readers to participate in reading familiar stories, perhaps asking them to fill in when they have read the story many times before. You will know your young child is beginning to understand what books are all about when they begin to follow along with the story and can take you through their favorite books and tell you about the story.

Raising a reader is not complicated. All it takes it a commitment to make reading a part of every day life, and making sure books are always available to your child. Once you get into a routine of reading often, it will become second nature to you, and you will be on the road to raising a great reader.

Submitted by Sarah Morris of Primrose Schools- child care with high early education standards.

 

Books Boys Love

Cover of "Everyone Poops (My Body Science...

Cover of Everyone Poops (My Body Science)

Parents often wonder how they can engage their boys in enjoying reading.  They are looking for books that aren’t too girly and that their sons will enjoy.  Therefore, it is no surprise that one of the biggest questions that I get is, “What books do you suggest for a __year old boy?”  This question has inspired me to make a list of books from my favorite book publishing company, Usborne Books and More.  Below you will find a list of books that tend to be boys favorites along with the age that they are appropriate for.

Boys tend to like books that fit into 6 different categories. Of course this is just a brief list of the most popular and not all inclusive.

  • humor
  • non-fiction
  • Suspense
  • Hands on
  • Sports
  • How to

Baby Boys 0-4

Animal Board Books

Noisy Touch Feely

That’s Not my Monster

Glug, Glug, Glug Bath Book

Lift and Look Board books – Books include topics about construction sites, tractors, trains, and dinosaurs

Boys Ages 4-6

Everyone Poops

Engaging phonics Readers

How Big is a Million

The Gingerbread Man

There’s a Mouse About the House

Very First Reading Program

Boys 7-10

Beginning Non-fiction Readers

Illustrated Stories for Boys – includes the following

The Masked Pirate
Robot Racers
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Jon and the Green Troll
The Tale of the Haunted TV
The Band of Robbers
Sinbad the Sailor
Victor Saves the Village
The Terrible Tidybot
The Story of Shiverham Hall
The Pesky Parrot
Sam and the Giants
The Tale of the Kitchen Knight
Attack of the Swamp Monster
Robot Robbery
Treasure Island

Jack Russell Dog Detective

The Team Series

Boys 10-15

Moby Dick

Tom Sawyer

David Copperfield

Conspiracy 365

These are some suggestions for boys to engage them and get them excited about reading.  Usborne Books has many many titles that boys love.  You can check them all out at www.popularbooksforkids.com.

This topic was discussed tonight as well on the Totoal Education Network, where I was a guest.  Check it out and learn what some of Neil’s favorite books for boys are as well.

Total Education Network Radio 08/18 by Total Tutor | Blog Talk Radio.

Hooked on Series in South Carolina

A photo of some Baseball Card Adventures books.

Image via Wikipedia

When you hear words like just right books, making predictions, asking questions, and author studies, then you know that you have entered a classroom where great first teaching is happening.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading a chapter of a book to a group of second graders in Ms. Witherspoon’s class in South Carolina.  These kids are so hyped on reading that they even started their own Magic Tree House book club.  How cool is that?

Once I heard that their favorite book series currently was the Magic School House Series, I knew that I could introduce them to another amazing author, Dan Gutman.  This man writes amazing books and one of his series is the Baseball Card Adventures.  The book that I shared with these students was Honus and Me.  This is a fiction book about Honus Wagner a great baseball player and how a very lucky boy ends up with his baseball card.  Not only does Honus come and visit the boy through the card, but also the boy gets to go back in time and see Honus play a real live game.

After I read the first chapter of this book, Ms. Witherspoon mentioned that she had this book in her classroom library.  She also had the book Jackie and Me.  So, the kids will have the opportunity to check out a new series and keep reading over the summer.

I love promoting reading over the summer and I have a special philosophy.  If you hook a kid on a series then you can hook them onto reading for life.  Sometimes that is all it takes.  Ms. Witherspoon has hooked her kids on great books and they will definitely be reading over the summer.

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