Tips for Reading Aloud with your Kids Every Day

World Read Aloud Day is Wednesday  – and there is reason to celebrate! According to  Scholastic’s “Kids & Family Reading Report,” 83% of kids ages 6 to 17 say they love or loved being read aloud to. The report found some important findings that parents should know….

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Parents STOP reading to their kids as they get older and can read independently…BUT 50% of kids (ages 6-11) wish their parents kept reading aloud to them.
  • The top reason? Kids say “it is a special time with my parents.”

With all that’s on our plate –  homework, tests, extra-curricular activities, online safety, family and work obligations, we need to keep it fun.  Kids love being read-aloud to – they see it as both entertainment and bonding time with parents. No matter what, read-alouds with kids should be fun. How do we make read-alouds fun?

Here are some good tips for making reading aloud an ongoing ritual and ways to enhance the experience.

These first tips come from Pam Allyn, founder of LitWorld.org and World Read Aloud Day.

Create alternative times of the day to read aloud. Reading right before bed is cozy and wonderful but for many families the timing doesn’t make sense. Bring a read aloud to the breakfast or dinner table, or on Saturday morning before the day gets busy.

Use technology to enhance the read aloud feeling. Take advantage of free video chat apps and services to read aloud regularly with friends and family who are far away. Make storytelling central to your long distance check-ins to create joyful memories and build a family literacy culture all at once as you learn about each other as readers.

Click here to read the full article.

The Non-Educational Benefits of Reading

blog_post

Heightens Concentration: When you read, you use a different part of the brain than what you would use for visual entertainment (watching TV) or audio entertainment (listening to music or the radio). By exercising that part, you can work towards enhancing the brain’s capability to think and concentrate.

Reduces Stress: A good book is often said to “take you to another world”. Diving deep into a book is a great of taking your mind off any worries and leave behind any stress you may be carrying with you.

Deepens Empathy: An emerging theory suggests that reading fiction can improve your ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling.

Provides Pleasure: Reading is shown to stimulate the portions of the brain associated with pleasure. One team even found that close reading and pleasure reading increased blood flow to different areas of the brain.

Exercise for your brain: Studies show that those who regularly read or play mentally challenging games are two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Saves money: According to Weight Watchers, the average novel costs between $8 and $13 and takes about six hours to read. Not to mention a library which is even cheaper. Compared to other forms of entertainment, books win the cost effective entertainment contest hands down.

Increased tolerance for uncertainty: Studies have found that one of the more immediate benefits and non-educational benefits of reading include an increased tolerance for uncertainty. Participants who read short stories were found less likely to “need to reach a quick conclusion in decision-making and an aversion to ambiguity and confusion.” Avid fiction readers in turn were found better able to think creatively and not be tied down to one specific idea.

 

Sources:

http://www.thewire.com/national/2013/07/more-evidence-reading-good-you/66909/

http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/news.aspx?itemid=2740&itemTitle=Reading+for+pleasure+puts+children+ahead+in+the+classroom%252C+study+finds&sitesectionid=27&sitesectiontitle=News

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/benefits-of-reading/print-view/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/12/health-benefits-reading_n_4081258.html

http://whytoread.com/why-to-read-10-reasons-why-reading-books-will-save-your-life/

http://lifedev.net/2009/06/reading-makes-you-better/

http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/08/12/can-reading-fiction-improve-empathy/73521.html

 

How to foster a love of reading in children

Today’s parents know that it’s not always easy to instill a love of reading in children. Whether they are watching television, dabbling with their smartphones, toying with their tablets or engaging in social media, youngsters now have more distractions at their disposal than ever before. So it’s no surprise that many youngsters may not be too enthusiastic about abandoning their gadgets in exchange for curling up with a good book.

But instilling a love of reading in kids early on can pay a lifetime of dividends. Children learn at a much faster pace during their first six years than at any other time in their lives, and the right kind of stimulation during these years can provide the foundation for future learning. In addition, reading at an early age can inspire a child’s creativity and imagination. Though many parents can recognize these benefits, that recognition does not make it easier to get kids to embrace reading. No two kids are alike, so parents might need to employ different strategies to get each of their kids to embrace reading. But the following are a handful of ways parents can foster a love of reading in their youngsters.

Read the full article here

5 Classroom Ways to Engage Children in Books

As a classroom teacher, do you often wonder just how much of the book your children are absorbing? While reading is an essential part of learning, it can sometimes seem like passive activity, especially for young readers.

sgr_promo_4a

So how do you ensure kids are actively engaged in the reading process? Here are some ideas:

Act dumb in class

Yes, you the teacher are always explaining. How about you ask a question that shows your (deliberate) misunderstanding of the book? Let them explain to YOU, how you’ve got it all wrong! They’ll love it and you can ask more and more questions to ensure everyone is on the same page.

What did you read this week?

Share your own books in class, the ones you read, why you picked it and what you thought. It helps for younger readers to see adults around them reading, and that it fun to discuss books just like adults do. 

Judge the book by its cover

This can be done in pairs. One student looks at the cover and tries to guess what the book is about. The one who has read it, tells them what the story is really about.

What do you think will happen next?!

Everyone loves to guess the plot! Try getting your students to do the same. At the end of cliff hanger chapter, ask this question, “What do you think will happen next?” See if you can follow up answers with more questions as to why they are making that guess. Don’t be surprised if your students start referencing scenes, hints, and dialogue!

Guess where I went this weekend

Ever read a book where you thought you were the main character? Get your kids to talk about their books as though they are the primary lead in the story. Discussions then sound so much more like a personal adventure, than a boring book discussion.