Welcome to GrowLearnDo! I hope this website informs, engages and inspires you.
My focus is how to teach children to READ. As an educator, I want to empower parents by providing tools, strategies, and resources that teach reading and instill a love of learning in children.
How can these simplistic activities, be so effective? First and foremost, when your child listens to you read you are instilling a love of learning through books. Your child learns to associate “reading time” as something enjoyable. If you had a parent or teacher that helped you to expand your horizons through the world of books, they helped you make a positive connection between books and learning. Secondly, parents who read to their children are teaching them what good readers sound like and providing some of the most basic skills that come naturally to proficient readers, but must be learned in order to read. For example, when you read a book you start with the title, turn the pages, stop at periods, etc. These simple tasks are called “print concepts” and are learned implicitly and explicitly. Learning these skills is a lot more fun for children when they are taught during “story time” in a safe setting, with an expert teacher…….you! Last, but not least you are increasing your child’s vocabulary when you read. There is a direct, positive correlation between reading ability and vocabulary knowledge.
Another powerful strategy when teaching children how to read is simply REREADING the book. Rereading builds fluency, accuracy, and comprehension. Why is rereading such an effective strategy for teaching multiple reading skills? Rereading provides students with a strong scaffold of support. The most essential skill linked to rereading is the ability to listen. Listening is a very important and often overlooked skill in the reading process. Listening helps students learn to focus and concentrate. When we hear extraneous sounds, like a dog barking or a song playing in the grocery store we are not necessarily listening. We just happen to (sometimes) notice sounds in the background as we go about our business. On the other hand, listening is a concerted, conscious effort that requires us to focus specifically on what someone is saying in an effort to understand. When students are just starting to read they are putting together all the “rules” that create a proficient reader and that is hard work! Focusing on meaning often takes a back seat as students learn to read independently. There is compelling data to support this technique. Rereading helps students develop a deeper understanding of what they have read (Roskos and Newman, The Reading Teacher, April 2014). When students can simply listen to the message as they are reading they can focus exclusively on comprehension. This happens when students develop automaticity. Each time students read the same text they are improving their accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. They are able to concentrate more on meaning, and less on the mechanics of how to read. This, in turn, increases not just their reading ability, but their confidence and motivation as well. Research has also shown that rereading the same text helps to build fluency when reading new passages. This is not surprising when examining the work of Edward William Dolch, Ph.D. He discovered that 100 common sight words make up 50% of the words we read in texts! Out of his research, the Dolch Word List was created and one way of learning these words is through repeated readings of the same book.
To further increase the effects of rereading, data indicates that the passages should be relatively short, so children can practice multiple times and focus on comprehension as well.
When parents read the same book repeatedly to their child they are providing a strong literacy foundation. It’s the simple things that are often the most effective. Consistency is key. Rereading your child’s favorite books builds vocabulary, print concepts, rhyming ability, sight word knowledge and motivation to read on their own. Most importantly, you are instilling a love of reading and opening up a new world for your child to explore.
Comprehensive Assessment Package
- Letter/Sound Test
- Foundational Reading Skills (5 assessments)
- Specific instructional techniques pinpoint and strengthen foundational reading skills based on individual results
What are foundational reading skills?
Before children can read they must have a basic foundation in order carry out specific tasks such as rhyming, identifying sounds in words and in isolation. These assessments (A) form the crux of determining where children excel, (B) what areas they need to work on and (C) what their current skill level of knowledge is in these specific areas. Strengths and weaknesses are identified, and specific areas are targeted that provide insight on what skills to teach, to help your child learn to read.
- Assessment involves curriculum based measurement (CBM) testing that pinpoints areas of strength and weakness.
- Based on the results, specific instructional activities that strengthen the foundational skills required for reading are highlighted.
- Parents have access to a comprehensive package that can strengthen each individual skill using techniques that are supported by research.
- Methods are simple, easy to implement and engaging to help your child become an independent reader.
- Motivational techniques that are essential for beginning readers are incorporated to support your child and encourage success.
My goal is to empower you with the tools you need in order to help your child learn how to read and reach their full potential.