This semester, students in READ 6310 were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By Dalia Gutierrez

Read aloud helps promote literacy and learning for young children. Many Read Alouds are important because it helps them acquire the information and skills they need to succeed in school. This helps children realize certain things in literature such as the meaning of words, and being able to enjoy reading in general.

When reading to children the teacher must make sure that the children feel safe and secure. The teacher must read with enthusiasm so the children can enjoy being read to; this promotes children to be more interested in reading.

The Read Aloud offers the students explanations to their questions, and also helps them make observations. Teachers often talk about the background of the story to inform the children and to discuss the character’s actions in relation to what they are doing in class.

It seems though that parents who Read Aloud to their children are able to quickly and more effectively asses their children’s ability to comprehend words, and while doing this the parent and the child are able to bond more. Children like to hear exciting books to enhance their imagination and as well as their vocabulary. Young children thrive on repetition, so he may want to hear the same book numerous times. This will help build vocabulary and reading skills. Involving a child in the selection process also helps him build confidence and self-esteem.

An effective way of helping the child understand words and looking at the words is for the parent to guide with their finger under the word so that the child could get a better understanding of what the word means. The parent could use sound effects to set the mood for the story, and different sound effects to describe the characters’ way of behaving such as making a deeper voice for someone who’s angry or a soft voice for caring person. All of these contribute to the children’s understanding of emotions within the book in relation to life.

A picture book is very helpful when conducting a Read Aloud. The parent can then have the child participate, for example, hearing what the child has to say about the picture or give a prediction to what may happen next. Finally, parents should come up with their own stories to set a positive influence in the child. With the parent telling their own story this lets the child learn new vocabulary. In turn the child should be allowed to tell their own story using the new vocabulary they were taught. This makes Reading Aloud exhilarating for them.

Both educators and parents play a strong role in ensuring that young readers are engaged during read aloud time.

Think about your style of speaking. If you know you speak quickly, try to make an effort to slow down when you read. Conversely, speeding up a little if you tend to speak and read slowly can help keep a child engaged. Read with expression, but stay within your comfort zone. If you are uncomfortable trying something new, your child will be too.

( How Educators and Parents Can Sustain Interest by Dorit Sasson)

As a Center Manager of Head Start it is very important to get our three and four years old children engage in reading. Each classroom is set up with a Library and the teachers have trained our parents how to check books out on weekly basis so they can read to their children for fifteen minutes every day. Implementing the read aloud at a very young age will give the child the learning foundation needed to do well in the public school.

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