Get the Most Out of Story Time! (page 2)

Get the Most Out of Story Time!

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Updated on Aug 15, 2011

3. Be a Model Reader: When you finish your picture walk and you are ready to read aloud to your child, model the skills you would him to use. For example, if you're working on matching spoken words to written words, be sure to point to every word as you read. If you're working on understanding punctuation, point out the uses of the punctuation marks on the page. If you're working on sight word recognition, make a verbal note when you’ve read one. Read expressively and use a consistent pace to model fluency. Discuss the predictions that you made together during the picture walk, and talk about how the text proves or dispels them. Ask for new predictions consistently throughout the story in order to check your child’s level of understanding.

4.  Get the Re-tell: For emerging readers, comprehension is just as important as being able to read the words on a page.   You can find out how well your child understood a story by asking her to retell it to you. Ask lots of questions to fill in the holes she leaves, and throw in vocabulary words such as character, setting, problem and solution. Then take it a step further by asking your child critical thinking questions about the story: “Do you think Goldilocks did the right thing by going into the three bears’ house without permission?” or “Why do you think the Grinch was so unhappy at the beginning of the story?” Not only will this aid her comprehension, but it will provoke critical thinking.

5.  Get the Review: To finish up, ask your child if he liked the story you just shared with him, and why. You'll be boosting his  comprehension skills, but it will also help you to choose stories that are sure to capture his attention next time. Try to coax more than a “yes” or “no” with more questions. For example, ask your child to show you his favorite page, and tell you all about it. Story time doesn’t always have to be chock-full of lessons, but having an awareness of the skills that can be taught while reading to your child comes in handy when those “teaching moments” pop up. When time is short, choose to focus on just one of the five steps. They don't need to be used together, and certainly not each and every time. Work that cover, walk through those pictures, model your reading skills, get the re-tell and the review, and you’ll be a lean, mean, storytime-teaching machine. And your kid won't be far behind...  

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