Children Need Enormous Opportunities to Read and Write Real Things
Peek into the homes of some children and you will see lots of real reading and writing activity. Parents write notes to each other about telephone calls taken and appointments to keep; they write lists and schedules that are posted on the refrigerator; they read newspapers (sometimes to each other), magazines, bills, letters from grandpa, and books. The parents read to the children and foster their writing (or scribbles and scratches). The parents talk to each other about the things they read and talk to their children about them too. Walk into the child's bedroom and you will find a bedroom library of children's books. When these children go to school, their parents encourage them to make purchases from school book clubs and often sit with them to discuss possible purchases and to hear about the books after they have arrived and have been read. In other words, some children see adults engaging in real reading and writing, talking about what they have read or written, and have adults who read and write with them and talk with them about what they read. These are the children who are likely to find learning to read in school relatively easy.
Imagine now that these already "lucky" children also attend a school where there is lots of real reading and writing activity. These children go to schools where teachers read to them from newspapers and magazines, as well as children's books, every day. Their teachers have bulletin boards and other displays where newspaper clippings, children's book reviews, and stories written by peers are routinely posted and discussed. The children write real things, and the teacher writes on an overhead projector as they watch her compose the morning message and listen to her "stretch" the words as she writes them. She supports their reading by modeling how good readers puzzle through difficult texts. These children write letters that they send, plays that they perform, reviews that they share, lists of questions for an interview that they will conduct, and lists of things that they need to buy for the class party. When lucky children attend these classrooms, their literacy is virtually assured.
© ______ 2007, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Bullying in Schools
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- First Grade Sight Words List