Monday, December 7, 2009

More on Mo Willems

I was reading with my one and a half year old, Nicholas, when it dawned on me that I had forgotten something extremely important in the last entry.

I will let you in on a secret...the best way to know what and how to teach your child to attention to what YOU do when you read. That's what good readers do, and that's what your child needs to learn. Here's the might need to read, and you must be thinking about your reading process at the same time you are remembering what you read.

I say this because that's what happened with Nick. There we were, reading along, and I changed my voice BECAUSE...there was a punctuation mark! I forgot to have you point out to your child that those marks (?.!,...) are all there for a reason! They tell us how to make our voices sound, and when to stop and take a breath.

Gerald and Piggie are awesome for this, because they have such expression and humor, and you can't help but inflect your voice and pause for drama. Your child might automatically do it. PRAISE them for it! Tell them they just did what good readers do - they watch those punctuation marks to know how to make their voices sound.

Here's a head's up...when they are ready, or if they are already ready, for more challenging books, if they run their voices through the periods/punctuation marks, remind them what they did with Gerald and Piggie. Gerald and Piggie become sort of a "mind peg" where they can trigger their memory and transfer that learning. Brain research shows that they will. If they did it before with ease and enjoyment, they will be able to do it again later with tougher material.

Now, as I said earlier, you will need to read. I like to read through books before I read them to the kids to get myself warmed up. I pay attention to things I am thinking and doing along the way so that I can talk to them about those things as I read with them later. TRY IT! :)

Hope you have a fabulous Monday...and, by the way, a new Gerald and Piggie book is coming out in January!


  1. I went out and bought two Gerald and Piggie books for Harry today. Not sure if it's too early for him at 3.5? What do you think? But they sure look like fun! Thanks for doing this!

  2. It is NEVER too early. Hey - part of it is having material to read to them that we actually get a kick out of reading! I think that is fabulous that you are getting him into it. Fly Guy is another fun series -- I will talk about that soon. But my fave is Mo Willems. He also has a website that the kids can interact with too, if Harry is ready for some of that too. Tell me how it's going -- I am going to focus on some preschool things here for sure -- Nick is already WAY into books, and I am going to be doing a lot of reading with him!