Monday, February 22, 2010

Comprehension Through Talk

Ok, so I said I would do the other Cat the Cat book today, but I loaned it to a friend last night, so I am going to get to it later.

I want to give you some ways to talk about books with your child. I think it is easy for us to ask the obvious Who, What, Where, When? questions about a book, and even sometimes Why and How?, but there are some really important skills kids learn in having a CONVERSATION about a book.

But they need to be taught -- and remember, teaching is showing them a bunch, then supporting as they try, and then finally, having them do it independently with little to no help.

One thing I have said a number of times is that kids get it when we are trying to be "teachers." They don't want mom and dad to be teachers, they have one at school, for goodness sake. So we need to present ourselves as mutual readers...just like them.

Here we are, going to TALK about the book. Start out with talking about having hunches...about the text, the story, the author, and the characters.

It might be as simple as, "Hey, we've read Kevin Henkes before, and I know he has mice as characters...look! Here's another mouse! I have a hunch this might be Wemberly the mouse. Kevin Henkes usually has the character's name in the title." Then as you are reading, if you get a feeling something is going to happen, TALK! Stop reading, turn to your child and say "I going to happen! I see xyz and they have said xyz, so I think MAYBE, this will happen."

100% of teaching reading is being 100% a reader yourself.

It's funny how we think there is this huge scientific process we need to follow. Nope. Talk to them about what you sense. If you think a character is being mean and the other kids are going to shun them for being a bully, say it!

As our kids learn to talk, what do they do -- they mimic. We say words, they say them. Reading is the same way. If they see and hear these thoughts you have, guess what? They will start having similar thoughts. They will see how it works.

Let them jump in with hunches they have too. Remind them that there is no right or wrong answers with hunches. It may or may not happen the way you thought, but that is just the story taking a turn in a different direction than you thought. Actually finding out and paying attention to whether the story followed or didn't follow your hunches is a good thing. That means you are paying attention to the story, and going with it.

So today as you are reading, have hunches and talk about the education world they are called predictions, so you can use that word too. Hunches is just more fun to say...

No comments:

Post a Comment