SEEDS of School Readiness is an emergent literacy curriculum used for training early childhood educators. At Kinderberry Hill, all of our teachers are required to complete this training within their first year of employment. This training focuses on how best to support children to become kindergarten ready.
We also pride ourselves in offering each child a “language-rich environment” consisting of many back-and-forth conversations, engaging questions, regular interactive readings, and print modeled and posted throughout the classroom. At Kinderberry Hill, we want children to have a lot to talk about, read about, and write about in our classrooms!
Research tells us it is never too early to start reading to children. From the day they are born, even our youngest of listeners enjoy hearing the sound of our voice, the rhythm of our speech, and the inflections we use while reading a story. Here are a few tips for reading with your little one:
Reading with children should involve many questions and much conversation. Interactions are the key to building enjoyment in reading. Take time to ask questions like: “What will happen next?” “What would happen if . . .?” “What would you do?”, or “How do you think they feel?”
These questions let children practice recalling events in a story, inferring meaning from illustrations, problem solving, and using their imaginations, all great practice for future readers.
Ask follow up questions such as, “Why do you think so?” or “How do you know?”. This is another great way for you to further understand your child’s reasoning.
Introduce New Vocabulary
Books offer a much more unique and rich vocabulary than typical conversation. Take time to repeat and explain new words to your child while you are reading. Talk about illustrations and try to use this new vocabulary during your discussion. Let your child practice saying new vocabulary words and then try to use them periodically in conversation with your child throughout the day. The more words your child has in his or her vocabulary, the better reader he or she will be.
Give your child much encouragement when it comes to reading. As you share familiar books, stop reading frequently and give your child a chance to fill in the next word or phrase. This can be especially beneficial in helping children learn about rhyming words. It also allows them to participate and be successful in telling the story. Take a moment to point to the word you would like them to ‘fill in’. As they say that word or phrase, compliment them on their reading. Though they may not be officially reading the words on the page, they are learning that print has meaning, and this is one of the first steps in learning to read.
Finally, encourage your little one and compliment him on the wonderful book selection he has made for you and him to read together!