Use these 3 Reading Tips Today!
Learning to read starts years before kids sound out C-A-T in a classroom. Help your kids learn comprehension (ie: the pile of skills that help them read well) by incorporating these 3 reading tips.
Reading is not a one-way street. Use these 3 tips to connect with your kids, and foster a sense of language while they learn to read by interacting with you and books!
Interactive reading with your toddler
The good news: your toddler is already a genius reader. Here’s why:
You’re reading to your kid. The story is moving. They’re almost in bed. Then, the questions start. Why did that character say that? Why are they walking that way? What’s in the other room? Who made the pizza? What’s his name? OR the observations: I have one of those. You make pizza. My shoes are blue. I play baseball. I don’t have that doll. That’s just like the dinosaur story. A train doesn’t really do that.
Sound familiar? Good news: That’s some good story-thinking. Encourage those questions, and you’re encouraging reading comprehension.
Back to our story. You’re reading. There’s a picture of two characters, obviously the main point of the story, and someone behind them, obviously not important. Your kid asks who the guy in the background of the picture is. What do you say?
a: he doesn’t matter
c: I think we’re going to hear about him, let’s see if this page tells us…
Obviously it’s “c,” right? That’s NOT EASY to remember when it’s bed time, you haven’t eaten, and you’re soaked from a mid-bath negotiation about which plastic fish is going to help her brush her teeth.
The seemingly pointless questions your toddler asks while reading are her way of connecting to the world of the story. Rather than thinking of them as a stalling tactic, take the opportunity to share how you’re thinking about the story.
Good teachers use these 3 reading tips to help kids:
1. Make text to text connections:
“Curious George has Hundley sleep over for a night, just like Betty Lou and Grover, in ‘Grover sleeps over.’”
“George and Hundley are a dog and Monkey, and they’re friends. We read Koko’s Kitten, where the gorilla has a cat.”
What does this remind you of in another book you have read?
How is this text similar to other things you have read?
How is this text different from other things you have read?
2. Make text to self connections:
“You do that. Your cousin slept over.”
“You and the dog like to nap together.”
What does this story remind you of?
Can you relate to the characters in the story?
Does anything in this story remind you of anything in your own life?
3. Make text to world connections:
“They are in an apartment building, with a doorman. They have those in the city.”
What does this remind you of in the real world?
How are events in this story similar to things that happen in the real world?
How are events in this story different from things that happen in the real world?
Use these three tips to help your kids engage with their stories! They may seem a little wooden at first, but it’s a tried and true tactic when teaching comprehension. The more you work these connections into your shared reading, the more fluent you’ll get with them!
For further reading:
Facing history has a great reading guide, including this:
1) Text-to-Text – How do the ideas in this text remind you of another text (story, book, movie, song, etc)? Complete one of the following statements:
What I just read reminds me of ___________________ (story/book/movie/song) because…
The ideas in this text are similar to the ideas in ___________________ because….
The ideas in this text are different than the ideas in ___________________ because….
2) Text-to-Self – How do the ideas in this text relate to your own life, ideas and experiences? Complete one of the following statements:
What I just read reminds me of the time when I….
I agree with/understand what I just read because in my own life…
I don’t agree with what I just read because in my own life…
3) Text-to-World – How do the ideas in this text reading relate to the larger world – past, present and future. Complete one of the following statements:
What I just read makes me think about _________________________ (event from the past) because……
What I just read makes me think about _________________________ (event from today related to my own community, nation or world) because….
What I just read makes me wonder about the future because….