Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yes! Even Babies Have Concepts About Print . . .

When I was a kindergarten teacher, and parents would anxiously ask me, "What can we do to help our child?', I would always tell them, please just read to your child - enjoy the experience . . . cuddle up with some books and talk about the story. Do this every single day  - and night - and then do it again! The single most important thing you can do for your child is to read to him or her. I still believe this is true. If parents would start reading the minute their child is born (and even before!) and repeat it every single day, I would be happy. Watch this video of a very young toddler and it will convince even the most skeptical person how much a child will learn about reading, if read to on a regular basis. This is a video from a foreign country - you will soon realize you can't understand the father as he speaks to his child! But after watching this quite a few times, what I infer from this scenario is that the toddler had first been looking at a picture book. For fun, the father handed her a piece of adult text, and she surprised everyone by "reading" it!
(Note to iPad users - in order to view  the video, you will have to see this post on a computer.)
video 

This video could also be used for professional development. After viewing it, you could have colleagues "turn & talk" or "stop & jot" and answer the questions:
What characteristics of a reader did this young toddler exhibit?
How would this have been different for a child who had never been read to?
How do you think she learned these things?
What do you think her background is? 
 

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