Thursday, July 27, 2017

Reading with Little Miss Muffet and Little Bo Peep, July 2017

This month, Miss Muffet (3 years 8 months) and Bo Peep (22 months) have both taken a liking to looking at books in large quantities. Often the first thing they do in the morning is stack up a big pile of picture books, quickly page through each one and leave them strewn all over the living room floor. "Put the books away" is often my most-spoken sentence of the day, just ahead of  "Don't walk on the books" and "Don't take out anymore books." (And "How did you manage to reach that book?")

During these morning reading sessions, sometimes Miss Muffet can be heard "reading" to Bo Peep. Most of the time, she is just retelling stories based on illustrations, but she can also sometimes be convinced to read a page or two aloud to us from one of her current books. Right now, in addition to practicing new words in the McGuffey primer and working on the Hooked on Phonics readers, she is also making her way through The Fire Cat by Esther Averill and Let's Get Turtles by Millicent Selsam. Prior to witnessing my own child's first forays into independent reading, I never would have suggested these books for a brand-new reader, but what I'm finding is that she is willing to work through the difficult words, provided there is an adult nearby to help, and that, even when it takes a long time to get through a page, she can almost always summarize what she has just read. I know there are a lot of theories out there about the best way to teach kids to read, but so far, for this particular child, at least, I'm discovering that the best way to teach her is to just keep giving her things to read, both on her current level and well above it and supporting her as she encounters new words and sentence structures. 
And of course, we haven't stopped reading aloud! Miss Muffet's current read-aloud favorites are any of the mouse books by Kevin Henkes (we have Chrysanthemum, Chester's Way, Wemberly Worried, Julius the Baby of the World, and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse), the Beatrix Potter stories, and the original Amelia Bedelia. She also continues to love hearing nonfiction, and recently, she has been asking to hear about turtles and lemurs. Her attention span has increased quite a bit, to the point that she will often say that even our very longest picture books are too short! 

Bo Peep continues to love her same set of favorite books - the Gossie series, No David, the Little Miss and Mr. Men Books, etc. - but occasionally she has become interested in other stories, especially Curious George Takes a Job, The Little Fur Family, and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. She prefers books to have babies in them, if possible, and if a book is not up to her standards, she simply closes it on my hands and says, "Book all done." She also likes to look at non-book publications, such as clothing catalogs, parenting magazines, and my alumni magazine. In these, she identifies all men as "daddy," all women as "mommy" and all children, no matter their age as "babies" or "big sisters." She also frequently identifies cows as horses, but we're working on it! 

No comments:

Post a Comment