Storytimes are over until June and I’m so busy working in the garden that I’m not reading. So, sorry for the lull. But! Today I presented an Early Lit: Every Child Ready to Read training for my colleagues with my Early Literacy Teammates. I was in charge of role playing exercises, which I know are not everyone’s favorite things. However, they are important. I thought it might be nice for my fellow Early Lit experts to take a peek at what I came up with for role playing exercise for their own future training or for their own practice.
“Don’t kids learn to read in Kindergarten and First Grade? Why do we need to focus on learning to read when my child is a baby? She can’t even hold her head up!”
- Children who are read to have a higher vocabulary and better language skills when they start school
- Children get ready to learn to read long before they officially start school
“I’ve tried reading to my toddler but he won’t sit still. I’m about to give up on storytimes.”
- Reiterate the importance of songs and play
- Suggest reading activities while on walks (reading street signs, discussing colors, what words rhyme with stop when you see a stop sign etc.)
- In my case, one of my more antsy storytime attendees remembered me after she “graduated” from toddler storytime and would do “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” or “Open Them, Shut Them” when she saw me in the library.
“I make my child read with me every night for 20 minutes before bed time, but now she’s acting up before bed, and I think she hates reading.”
- Reiterate the importance of songs and rhymes
- Give suggestions for different songs—sing familiar songs to different tunes to switch it up
- Make up your own song or have child make up their own song
- Include the child in picking out of books–mix it up, some chapter, some picture, some graphic.
“My two-year-old can’t hold a spoon correctly, what’s the point of trying to teach him how to write?”
- Remind parents that early coloring and “writing” is great practice for fine motor skills and the ability to hold a pencil and pen once their child gets to the age where he or she learns to print.
- Reiterate that early writing or scribbling also has meaning to the child, which is important for reading and writing since the concept of letters or markings holding meaning/definition is beginning to form.
“I work two jobs and am a single parent. I don’t have time to devote hours a day to teaching my child how to read.”
- Give parent suggestions for short exercise and rhymes that can encourage reading in small bursts
- Suggest audio books while in the car instead of the radio
You’re running a program for parents and caregivers on Every Child Ready to Read and you’ve already discussed the basics of sing, write, talk, play, read. What other suggestions do you give? How do you incorporate STEM or other learning models into your program?
- Hypothesis type of questions, “if x happens, what do you think will happen next”
A teenager comes into the library looking for books and resources on babysitting. In addition to babysitting books, what tips do you give the teen in regards to ECRR?
- Links to websites with storytime and rhyme collections?
- Tips for songs and rhymes i.e. repetition; speeding up/slowing down;
While at an outreach event (say, farmers market) an older patron asks for picture book recommendations because toddler aged grandkids are coming to visit. What books do you recommend and why?
- Do the titles have rhymes? Do they promote play?
- Example: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear—can make small voices, big voices, repeats etc
- Bear Books by Karma Wilson has rhyme and repetition
- Hooray for Hat the hat changes and can child and caregiver can easily discuss “what will happen next?”
- Pete the Cat each reader can make up their own tune to the songs- sing fast, sing slow etc.
- Jan Thomas- Can you make a scary face? Is Everyone Ready for Fun?
- Wordless picturebooks: children can make up own stories based on pictures- still reading (reading the pictures)
You’re talking to a local newspaper about the importance of storytime and Every Child Ready to Read. What is your “elevator speech” on the importance of ECRR?