Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Power of Positive Talk

Today I want to touch on how instrumental you are in your child's reading life.

In each interaction we have with them, we have an opportunity: we can build, encourage, instill confidence and make them feel capable, or...well, you know the alternatives.

I want to give you some suggestions on how to talk with your reader.

I always start out with "I love how you do what good readers do!" and then give a very specific praise.

Pump them up. But always remind them that they are ALREADY a good reader. They may be struggling, but we don't want to focus our talk on that. Coach them.

"You did a great job, can I tell you something that I have to do when I get to a tricky part?" That opens them up. You relate as a reader. It isn't just THEIR problem. Every reader has these struggles.

"You are awesome...I love how you sounded that out. When I heard you read that, it reminded me of what I know good readers like you do when they..."

"I love how you did what good readers do -- when you reread that part."

"You are a great reader! You made it to the end of that sentence and then took a breath! Good readers pay attention to the punctuation just like you!"

"I love how I can hear the characters! You make your voice sound like theirs!"

Even if they do it only once. PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE!

Always say it. Don't think you have told them enough. When reading isn't easy for kids, they label themselves and it is hard to break. "I'm not a good reader." is what I hear far too often from kids.

My first response is always, "Huh? How can that be? Let me see your book -- oh, I love how you have a book to read! Can you tell me how you came to select it?" Minor? Yes, but no. If I tell them they are a good reader, they will start to believe it.

Don't jump in too quickly to "fix" things for them, and then tell them how you loved how they were good readers in trying to make sense of their reading.

Change their mindsets with positive words!

No comments:

Post a Comment