09 December 2007

Let me read to you!

When Mike walked into Pipers room this morning, this is what greeted him. Piper had reached over her crib to grab the letter chart that her Nana had given her. She was 'reading' her letters. She has been doing this for a while, but she is now starting to ask to read words...especially if we are reading to her, she'll ask "what is that word, does it have a P in it?" or "I can read that word, it says Mummy" What I know now is that Piper is ready to READ and I am not ready to TEACH!

What the heck am I going to do? I know that my Mum and 'kindy' taught me to read by three, but I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing?? Do I teach her using the phonetic system? That's how I learnt, in fact I still sound out words in my head as I spell them...I have no idea what methods they use in school here...guess I need to start moving on that huh! I did train as a school teacher 20 years ago but I never taught, I decided that I wasn't cut out for the selfless path of teaching (kudos to all that do!) I instead moved my focus to caring for newborns...I don't regret it at all, I love my work, but how often does a 3 week old ask to be taught how to read??

If anyone is a teacher please feel free to comment on this dilemma.

I do have some level 1 readers on order from Amazon...Fancy Nancy if you can believe it! Time to get cracking and give Piper the greatest gift of all, the ability to read!


chloesmama said...

Hi! I am a kindergarten teacher, and I have my 2 cents to offer on teaching your daughter to read. Go at her pace, so that she keeps her excitement! We have lots of kindergartners these days who start the year reading--it's still not the "norm," but I think it's like potty training. When your baby is ready, you know! Looks like you're ready at your house! Choose stories that are old favorites, and that have few words on the page. As you read, point to each word. Take time to talk about the pictures. I often say, "I knew that the word would be ___, because I saw the picture of the ___." You can also say, "I see a panda on the page. The word panda would have a /p/ sound. Let's see if we can find it." The important thing is not to push reading, and don't worry too much about the phonetic approach. Actually, phonics is the last thing your brain uses when figuring out a word. Picture clues, context, prediction...all of those are first. Let Piper read books that she knows and loves over and over. Find "popcorn" words that "pop" up all over the place--or "star" words...whatever you want to call them. Words like the, go, to, am, I, a, and. Don't worry about them too much, but just introduce them as they keep coming up. One last thing--you can write books with Piper, and that will be the best way to really teach her to read. You can use pictures, too. Make small books like, "I see my doll." (Put a picture of the doll on the page.) Next page could say, "I see my bed." (Put a picture of the bed.) Then "I see my mommy." You can make an "I like" book, an "I go to" book, etc. The pattern and predictability are the key. I know I've rambled on and on and on--I'm sorry if it's way too much information. (Can you tell that I love my job?)

Happy reading!

OziMum said...

Wow! What a smarty pants!!! I don't have any advice for you - Harry is still struggling to read now, and he's 6!!! (maybe I should have started teaching him when he was 2?!!!)

Hope you get to see some photo's/footage of Paisley - that would be priceless.

Janelle said...

I went to kindergarten knowing how to read, too - and I think the secret was LOTS of reading (which I'm sure you're doing)

Chloe also expresses an interest in reading words (cool!). Do you get that show 'Super Readers'? It's on our PBS station here. I'm quite impressed by it. (I"m not suggesting we leave it to TV, just that it's a good learning to read show) Writing letters seems like another way to help.

I like Kelley's ideas, they sound like fun!