You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.
What happens when Jason’s (from Foxtrot) Halloween costume collides with Twilight phenom?
A great laugh! Click here.
Have a fabulously fun and safe Halloween today!
That’s what my grandmother called it when our handwriting was awful–”chick’n scratchin’.” And that’s what I imagine print on a page looks like to children who are still figuring out what books are all about.
Print Awareness is one of the six early literacy skills needed by kids before they are able to begin learning to read.
If a child has print awareness, they realize that the “chick’n scratchin’” on the page is more than scritchy-scratchy marks on the paper. They realize that the marks make shapes and that a shape is either the same or different from another shape. And all those shapes together represent the sounds of the language they hear, day in and day out.
You have to think like a child, figuring it out for the first time, to truly appreciate the remarkableness of the discovery.
While any book with words printed in it can encourage the development of print awareness, some make print a little more noticeable. Words might be in color or in a different type style from the rest of the text. They may wander, fly, or splash across the pages. The words may be very few and far between, very big or very small. What they all have in common is that the print somehow stands out, making it more likely a child will notice and start seeing the print as separate from the pictures–and not just a bunch of “chick’n scratchin’.”
Here are some of my favorites:
- I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Beaumont
- Freight Train by Crews
- Tip Tip Dig Dig by Garcia
- Yikes! by Florczak
- Rain by Stojic
- A Visitor for Bear by Becker
Which books do you think are especially helpful in building print awareness?
In case you haven’t seen this yet, check out JibJab’s version of Monster Mash with the characters from Twilight.
Lots of fun!
Three kids and dad review the new movie version of Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it might help you decide whether it’s one for you and your kids.
What I like about the review, however, is how well it demonstrates conversation with kids. Better still is that it’s conversation with kids about books.
How much parents talk with children is one of the strongest predictors of reading ability years later. Yep, just conversation. But many of us have forgotten what conversation with children looks like.
- It’s two-way, back and forth.
- It’s free of no’s and commands and reprimands.
- It’s respectful. It allows kids to say the way they see it and experience it. It’s not about right and wrong answers.
- It’s unhurried. Children need time to talk. They have to hear, then figure out what they heard and what it means, then think of a response, then figure out the words for that response, and then actually produce the response. None of that is automatic for young children. We have to give them time.
So follow Z-Dad’s example and find a good book to read and talk about with your kids!
Thanks to all who found a kiddo or two (or three or more) to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to on October 8th, Jumpstart reached its goal! Caterpillar was read on that date to more than a million children!
You’ve still got time to purchase a copy online from Jumpstart or at sponsor Walmart. It’s a special edition copy and a portion of sales goes back to Jumpstart to support their literacy programs. (Hint, hint: these would make great holiday gifts).
This one made me laugh until I coughed (I’ve got the flu, remember?)!
Hopefully, I’ll be back next week.
Cathy Puett Miller has a wonderful post today with a letter from the author Aliki about reading to your children.
While the whole letter is worth reading, I think Aliki nails it here: “When I sometimes hear ‘I’m too busy’, I wonder what is more important? The dishes?”
We all need that kind of jolting reminder every now and then, not to make ourselves feel bad but to throw our world back into proper perspective.
So, go read to a child!