Reading Aloud to Young children

By Elena Alonzo

As a teacher of 3 year old children, I am responsible of setting the reading foundation in my students in order for them to become successful readers as they grow up. I used to think that reading aloud was not that important, but oh God… how mistaken I was! After becoming a mother and taking the first couple of courses in the master program, I have learned about the benefits of reading aloud to children. I implement the reading aloud routine every day. I use my reading aloud chart, which includes: title, author, illustrator or photographer and vocabulary. First I try to select literature that it is related with our theme and also literature which students are able to identify themselves in some aspect. Through reading aloud young children can get the knowledge of books. They also learn about print concepts, such as, print is spoken words written down, letters in a word are written in certain order, and separated by spaces. Also a very good outcome of reading aloud is the building of their vocabulary. According to research, the size of a child’s vocabulary is a key predictor of reading success. I try to include three words from the story and put it in the reading aloud chart. We discuss about the words previous to reading and then during the reading I try to explain the meaning of the word. I enjoy looking at my students in the library center. After I have read a book several times, I place it in the library center for students to read. Even though they cannot decode yet, they are showing the reading behavior. They are able to hold a book correctly, they read it in the right direction (left-to-right), and they are discussing the book using the words they learned.

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