Saturday, January 30, 2016

Reading and READING

I love to read.

When I was a kid parents were told not to try to teach their children to read because they'd do it "wrong" and the kids would gave to unlearn before they could really learn. I didn't go to Kindergarten, and reading wasn't taught then anyway. But at the end of First Grade I was reading at Fifth Grade level and I've been a bookaholic ever since.

As a teacher I noticed that there's a big difference between being able to sound out words on a page and really reading.

Children (and adults) just learning to read are focused on the individual words and need to step back a bit mentally to get the sense of each sentence. They're constantly aware of the fact that they are reading.

But skilled readers don't even think about the specific words and sentences except at a semi-conscious level. Instead, they're immersed in the story or concepts they're reading about.

People with developmental delays or learning disabilities may be unable to become skilled readers, but, for most people, the best way to reach that level of reading is to read a lot.

When parents read to kids and the children can see the words on each page, that helps show them that reading can carry them away into imaginary worlds. And teachers can do the same thing to young kids with big (not thick) books that allow the words to be seen from a distance.

Reading to kids all the time helps motivate them to learn to read by themselves.

Once a child reaches the basic level of being able to sound out words and recognize familiar ones, the best way for them to become proficient readers is to read as much as possible.

And even adults who can read adequately, but don't especially enjoy doing it, can move from reading to real READING simply by reading a lot.

No comments: