Today we made a visit to our local library. We made our typical trip which consists of: picking a new movie, watching the fish, playing on the computers, and looking at books. (The latter consists mainly of my almost-2 year-old pulling books off the shelf and me frantically trying to put them back. She is REALLY quick!) There is also usually some chasing involved in there…I am sure many of you totally understand the scene! Either way, they love it and I am usually ready for a little nap after. (Isn’t that how most trips are? Your kids get more energy from them, while yours is zapped?!)
While we were there we picked up some books that came with accompanying CD’s. Yes, I know- how archaic…CDs! My thought was that since my daughter already has a CD Player in her room she could begin listening to books on her own during her quiet time each day.
So, I brought her CD player down from her dresser and showed her how to open it, put a CD in, and then push play. (I forgot to tell her to hit ‘stop’ when the book was over, but quickly showed her when she was trying to yank out the spinning CD.) Seems so easy, but this was a big deal for her to be able to do on her own. She wants to be able to do everything by herself, so she really thought she was big stuff!
Today we chose 4 books: Mr. Putter and Tabby Spill the Beans (Cynthia Rylant), Corduory (Don Freeman), Planting a Rainbow (Lois Ehlert), and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (Kevin Henkes).
Today during quiet time my 3 year-old (who is almost 4…yikes!) had some independent reading time listening to books. You may wonder, how does listening to books ‘count’ as reading?
Here are a few reasons why emergent readers need time listening to books:
- While listening they begin to recognize words, letters, and sounds as they start to match what is being read with the text on the pages in front of them.
- They are able to listen while also looking at the pictures, matching what is going on with the story. This is building their comprehension. Later they will be able to look at the pictures to help them decode the words on the page and understand the story because this is something they are already familiar with doing.
- Listening to a book being read helps emergent readers to be able to hear how you should sound when you read. It helps them understand fluency and internalize it.
- It’s fun to hear someone else reading to you!
- You need to be able to hear someone reading other than mom or dad once in awhile. Each person reads differently and it is good to become accustomed to following along with others as they speak and hearing others’ voices. (Building those listening skills!)
- Listening to books by yourself is good independent reading practice. While emergent readers may not be able to decode the words on the page, they need plenty of time to explore books independently, in their own time and their own way. They need to feel and look like a reader!
- They can do it on their own! All early learners want to be able to do BIG things, and do them independently. This is one way to encourage reading independence and confidence from the start.
This is something our little emergent reader will be able to choose to do during her quiet time (which we do each day right after lunch). It’s a great way to give her independence as a reader, while also still supporting her emergent reading skills and needs.
Check out your local library or even download some books (just make sure you have the paper copy so that your child can follow along!). It is a great way to support your growing independent reader!
Angela (a readingteachermom)