Our classroom now has a collection of over a thousand paperback books in our library! Many are easy-to-read, colorful and high interest books. We have collected them from many places such as, our monthly book club orders, yard sales, and older kids donating the picture books and easy readers they've outgrown.
The screening in the spring shows there is a wide range of abilities in our classes this year, from children who need to learn the letter names, to those who can hear the letter sounds and are ready to learn to read, to those children who can read on their own already. To strengthen reading skills as well as to encourage the love of books and reading, your child will select a "Buddy Book" from our classroom library every day. It will be sent home in a large slide-lock baggie labeled with your child's name and "Buddy Book."
At home, your child should pick a "buddy" to read the book to him/her. It can be a mom, a dad, an older sibling who can read, a grandparent, a relative, or a friend. The two of you should sit side-by-side so the child can see the words and pictures. Read the book with enthusiasm. Model how you put your finger under each word as you read the story. You can stop to talk about the illustrations and point out how pictures often add information to the story. "Can you guess what might happen next?"
Children who are in early stages of reading need support from people who matter to them, like a parent or a family member. Please be patient with your child and praise him/her for the letters he/she knows or for the words he/she tries to read. If your child is not yet ready to read words, following along with you as you read is also good practice. Reading together daily can help your child develop the desire to read!
When youíre finished reading you can have the child look through the book to find which picture is his/her favorite and tell why. You can ask a few questions for comprehension, but be brief and donít quiz every detail. Donít get upset if letters, words or facts canít be remembered. Try to make learning to read a fun experience without the pressure of getting everything right all the time.
Practice Retelling the Story
Have your child recall the title and the name of the author. Then have your child "read the pictures" to retell the story or to describe what is happening on each page. If interested, he/she can point to and guess or read the words to retell the story.
After reading the story, you or your child should write
the title of the book on our monthly "Buddy Book Reading Log"
found in the baggie with the book.
The person who reads the book to the child should sign/initial their name.
The children usually pick out their books during snack time. While selecting their new book, we have a "Book Talk" where each child is asked to tell about their "buddy book" such as, their favorite part or whether or not they liked it. You may want to ask your child what he/she can share with the class.
After reading his/her "Buddy Book," you can help your child learn to be responsible for it by having him/her put the book back in the baggie and back in his/her schoolbag. Your child should return it to school the next day so he/she can pick out a new book to bring home to read.
Establishing this routine early will be a big help.
We hope this Home Reading Project is a fun way
for your child to learn to love books and learn to read!!