Tuesday, May 15, 2018

But My Child JUST Memorized That Book!

So many times we hear family members say that a child is not reading because the child has memorized a book. You may see this in your classroom or center as children pick up a much-loved book again and again. Take a look at the video below. What looks familiar?

You may see young readers mimicking your expression, the way you turn pages, or you pointing at illustrations/words. It is important to remember that these are necessary components of reading. It is our responsibility as educators to not only teach children, but to also help families appreciate the important role they play in literacy development.  

When families read to children, their expressive reading is a vital component of the experience. When children hear text read in different "voices" and with different pacing, this model sets the stage for future success. Not only does it demonstrate one of the five components of reading, fluency, but it also serves as a motivating factor for children. 

Another feature we see in this video is the use of pictures. Too often, we hear a family member expressing concern about a child's "over-reliance" on illustrations. But, we need to see the use of pictures as a valuable strategy. When a child looks at a red bird on a page and says, "red bird," it reinforces the idea that we can and should use context cues, whether these cues are pictures or words. 

Additionally, turning pages, moving from top to bottom, and even identifying the cover of a book are necessary skills that are demonstrated when children memorize a book. Reading and rereading a book can and will make these early literacy skills automatic. 

So - remember that valuable lessons are learned and practiced when children "memorize" a book. This IS reading! 

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.E.04, 2.E.06, & 2.E.07.
Head Start - VII.A., VII.B. & VII.C.

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