By Karen Wells, CNA Media Team
Summertime is a time of long, lazy days. A perfect time for curling up with a good book. Being able to decode is the foundation for learning to read.
Decoding is the process of recognizing shapes as letters, matching sounds to letters and having it all make sense. How do children learn to decode? It all starts with conversations we have with our babies during feeding, diaper changes and cuddle time.
They are always listening, watching, learning and making sense of the sights, sounds and actions they experience every moment. Interacting with our children builds the foundation for reading readiness and reading.
When does reading begin? Early signs of reading readiness can be seen as early as 18 months. This is about when children start carrying books around, holding books (or digital devices) in correct orientation, pointing at pictures, and begining to understand reading is an important activity. They also understand that books, printed words and reading go together and have purpose. We can grow readers by reading to them and have them read to us.
Reading is a social interaction opportunity waiting to happen. A time for sitting together, following the story with fingers and showing interest in the story by asking questions about the story or characters.
Some reading applications on the market may not be developmentally appropriate for emerging readers. When in doubt, do research or ask a librarian.
Multnomah County Library's summer reading program and story times are geared to emerging readers, and major book publishers have emerging reader categories. Look for books with interesting storylines, short sentences and uncluttered pages.
Former Concordia resident and author Raymond Quinton’s “Best Ride Ever!” – as well as Mo Willems’ “Are You Ready to Play Outside?” – will entertain reader and listener.
Happy summer reading to all.
Karen, OCCD master trainer, early childhood education, conducts health and safety trainings for parents and childcare staff via Child Care Resource and Referral of Multnomah County. She may be reached at 5CornersFamily@gmail.com or text 619.244.7892.
Wilson, K. & Katz, M. (2009). Literacy Ages and Stages. Reading, Literacy and Auditory-Verbal Practice. Workshop presentation. firstyears.org/miles/reading-miles.pdf
Quick, Carol. Eddy. (2013) Kids Health. Reading Milestones.
Reading Rockets (2007) Emergent Readers: Look! That’s My Letter!
Goff, Neal. (2016) Can Children Learn on Digital Devices? That’s the Wrong Question.
Robinson, Sheree. (2016) The Evolution of Literacy in the Digital Age.
Quinton, Raymond. (2017) Best Ride Ever!
Willems, Mo. (2008) Are You Ready to Play Outside?
YouTube. Read Aloud. Are You Ready to Play Outside?
Kimmelman, Leslie. (2016) We’re Amazing, 1,2,3. autism.sesamestreet.org/storybook-we-are-amazing
Guernsey, Lisa.,Levine,Michael H. (2015) Tap,Click,Read.Growing Readers in a World of tapclickread.org
Digital Learning and Media. Fred Rogers Center.
Summer Reading. Multnomah County https://multcolib.org/summer-reading-0