Reading with children can be a fun and rewarding experience. Like any activity, reading with skill and ease comes with practice.
Tips offered here by the Reading Oasis are suggestions that can help make the experience enjoyable for the children and for you.
Tip of the month: The PEER Strategy
Storytime is one of the best ways to connect with your child and support their literacy growth. Storytelling not only increases your child's exposure to literature, but it is also a great way for him or her to begin to make connections between literature and the world around them. Research tell us that children deepen learning through interactive dialogue, which can take many forms during reading. Talking to your child about the book you are reading together allows for multiple ways to connect with literature, and the simple and highly effective PEER strategy is perfect for all ages and is flexible enough for any parent to try!
P: Prompt your child about the story: Ask your child a question about the story you are reading together. Prompting him or her activates prior knowledge and connects it with current learning, which is highly important in the development of your child's literacy. You can start with simple, rote memory questions and build to higher-level critical thinking concepts. For example:
Point to a picture in the story and ask, "What is that?"
E: Evaluate your child's response. Offer praise and validation for your child correctly identifying an item. Be sure to be specific about why you are giving praise. Asking your child how they identified the item activates their prior knowledge stimulus and independently guides them to self-directed learning.
You can respond with, "Yes! That's a duck. How did you know that?" Following your child's follow-up response, you can offer praise by saying something like, "I think it's really great that you made a connection between the duck in the story and the duck we have in our bathtub."
E: Expand on your child's response. If possible, encourage your child to expand even further on the item and how it fits into the story and in real life. You can ask the following questions to build further on the topic:
- Have you learned about ducks in school?
- Do you remember the time we saw a duck in real life at the park?
- What is the duck doing in the story?
- What is the difference between the duck in the story and ducks in real life? (i.e., Ducks don't talk in real life, etc.)
R: Revisit the prompt. You can put the word "duck" on a card and add it to a "Word Wall"-Vocabulary word walls increase comprehension and visibly expand on existing vocabulary. Vocabulary word walls can be on an actual wall in your home, on the fridge, or even in a notebook.
Source: Reading Rockets. A downloadable PDF version of the PEER strategy is available at: (http://www.readingrockets.org/article/use-peer-when-you-read-aloud)