Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Develop Readers

Model It:

People in the child’s life should show that they value reading. Children know we value it when we actually do it, not when we only say “go read.” a. It doesn’t matter what you read; it only matters that you read. It would be great to model reading {sometimes} off of electronic devices if you use e-readers. Children don’t always realize that people are reading on electronic devices because they so frequently use them for playing games. b. It would be great if older brothers and sisters or cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents also modeled that they valued reading.

Reading Together:

a. The older our children grow, the less likely they are to read during the school day. But college is all about independent reading of difficult texts. b. As students move to higher grades, the reading becomes much more challenging; therefore, they need more practice reading. That reading frequently is expected to happen at home. c. Partner with anyone—parent, brother/sister {older or younger}. The parent or an older brother/sister/cousin can model what good reading sounds like. d. Form rituals around reading—bedtime, morning with breakfast, when we get home from school e. Share the reading—this is good when the child wants to read a text that is too difficult for him or her to read. f. It is great to stop and talk throughout the text. i. What do you think is going to happen next? {prediction} ii. Why do you think that character chose to do that? {character analysis} iii. How do you think the character felt when that happened? {character analysis} iv. Why would the author set the story where it is set or why would the author include such a character or why would the author talk about anything in the story or book? {author’s craft} g. It is wonderful when you spend some time reading out loud to your children. It is even better when you change your voice for the specific characters. i. This models the notion that there are differences in characters. ii. It develops interest where little may have existed before. iii. It is great entertainment. iv. You are modeling good reading. v. This enhances the relationship between adults and child. h. If you are reading a nonfiction text, think out loud about the text. Ask yourself questions. Connect to other things you have read about the topic or connect to things you know about the topic. Don’t forget to include your personal experiences.

Free Choice:

The child should be free to choose what she or he wants to read. a. Initially readers want to be entertained. They move into the stage of escape from their lives and then into seeing themselves in the text. By giving them free choice, they are meeting their emotional needs around reading. If the reader can read the text, all reading is beneficial reading. b. It does not improve one’s reading by reading something that is too difficult to understand. i. 5-finger test—read a page at the beginning of the book. If the child cannot read 5 or more words {not counting proper nouns/names}, the book is probably too difficult. That means that the child will need a lot of help reading the book—partner read. ii. So if she or he wants to read the book, make that book one that you read together. c. Children like series books because they are predictable. That adds a level of ease and comfort in the reading. They also know the characters and enjoy the relationship they have with the characters. After your child has read several in one series, you might encourage him or her to read something else but still leave the decision up to the reader.

Discuss books with your child:

a. Happens during partner reading. b. You don’t have to have read the book to talk about it. i. What are you reading? ii. What do you like about that story? Or What have you learned from the book? iii. Would you want to read another book like that one? Why? c. Traveling in a car is a good place to discuss what they are reading.


a. Audio books—entertain, build vocabulary, widen reading interests. They do not build one’s reading skills though. b. Author sites—find a favorite author or series on their site. Builds interest in the books. c. Reading online is also valuable reading. d. Time for Kids and National Geographic have older articles online.

Parent Records Books:

a. The parent can read a book into a recording device. This is great if parent cannot be present for reading time. b. Excellent model for good reading. c. Develops interest in reading.

Personal Library:

a. There is a lot of research showing that it is beneficial for children to have personal libraries. They need to have easy access to reading so that they make the choice to read. b. When we build a library in our homes, it shows that we value books and the reading that we do. c. Public library is a benefit as well. You don’t have to own everything you read.

Required Reading:

a. Required reading may be too difficult for a child. Adults can read the assignment along with their children—take the journey together. b. The discussion will help the child think about the story and its components before he or she goes to class. c. By reading the book together you may help to build an interest in the assigned reading that may not have been present before. d. This also helps the parents to keep track of what is happening in class. Nonfiction: a. Children are interested in nonfiction reading. b. Many children struggle to read nonfiction well. c. Parents can connect the reading to family outings—museum, part, fishing, etc. Have things to read that connect to the trips. Read before the trip—building background knowledge. Read after the trips—enhances what has been learned while on the trip. Many gift shops have books that enhance the experience. d. Use the computer to find additional reading around the topic. e. Create your own book or folder of information about the topic. Reading Assessments: a. DRA/EDL—discuss your child’s reading levels with the teacher. (elementary) b. Bilingual—is the gap between language 1 and language 2 decreasing. It is beneficial to maintain the reading in language 1. But the reading must grow in language 2. c. STAAR—this is NOT a reading comprehension assessment. It is more of an assessment of reading analysis—they types of things we talk about during discussion of the text. d. Stanford—Will be offered in grades 2 through 7 starting this year. There is a reading component on the test.