Thursday, May 16, 2013

Emerging Readers: Start With a Book (Blog Tour)!

I'm so pleased to be part of the Start with a Book blog tour, featuring some great resources for librarians!

Fluency. Building comprehension. Sight words. These are words that teachers of reading are very familiar with, but children's librarians might not be. And why should we be? We're not teachers. We don't tutor kids who are learning to read. We weren't taught that in library school!

But if we're doing our jobs well, we're supporting the people who are teaching kids to read. And we can best support teachers and parents if we know what they're talking about and what they're looking for when they come in asking for resources to help little Johnny who is struggling.

Enter Start with a Book. This awesome website is a great resource for librarians to start learning about how kids learn to read and what parents can do to help them. We're heading into Summer Reading time, so now's a great time for you to do a little research and get an idea of how to help parents practice reading with their kids.

It seems like more and more librarians I know are starting some kind of beginning readers storytime: a program to help get kids ready to start school and/or help reinforce reading skills and strategies after school. Start with a Book has some great activities that you may be able to incorporate into these types of programs.

Check out the following sections for ideas:

  •  Fluent Kids explains what fluency is (reading like you're speaking, basically) and why it's important. This page includes several ways that parents (and librarians!) can help kids practice their fluency. 
  • Reading Aloud contains many links to pages on the Reading Rockets site with activities to help kids build comprehension, build critical thinking skills, and more! Check these out for a wealth of information on learning how to read. 
  • Literacy Resources includes activities to practice writing and spelling, as well as lots of ideas for early literacy. 
  • The 24 learning themes include tons of age-appropriate book suggestions on popular themes and links to the Reading Rockets adventure packs which provide activities to accompany each theme. This is a great source for finding books to share in programs with this age group and activities to round out your program. 
Even if you're not planning programs centered on emerging readers, learning more about how kids learn to read and how parents can help them is great professional development. At the very least, keep Start with a Book in mind to refer parents who come to  you with questions about reading.

And don't forget to enter this fabulous giveaway!