Monday, February 28, 2011

Why Read Aloud to Children?

(The following are exerts by Jim Trelease, New York Times Bestseller The Read-Aloud Hanbook.  Mrs. Austin, one of Amana's 4/5 teachers whom I view as an expert in reading instruction, provided this information to me)
  • The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children
  • Without the "want-to," all the "how-to" drill work (reading instruction) is not going to create a lifetime reader.  Your reading aloud is what builds the child's "want-to."
  • Reading aloud...conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure, creates background knowledge, builds "book" vocabulary, and provides a reading role model
  • Regardless of sex, race, nationality, or socioeconomic background-students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest.  Conversely, those who don't read much, cannot get better at it.
  • Reading regularly to a child helps to close the gap and give the at-risk child a "head" start, especially important since most instruction in school for the first four years is oral
  • The larger the vocabulary, the better the child understands the teacher and the lesson
How can I give my child words if I don't have them myself?  All the words you may be missing can be found at the "people's university"-the free public library (and Mrs. Cooper and the staff at Amana provide a world class library!)

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