Paula C. Papp
MA Ed from Baldwin Wallace College in Reading Instruction
Early Intervention Specialist
It's more complicated than you think!
There are lots of rules that dictate how our spoken language gets put down on paper. Helping your child become familiar with these "conventions of print" will support their reading and writing development.
Here are some suggestions for a younger or a less experienced child:
• Let your child get the book "ready to read." Hand over the book upside down or backwards and see if your child can turn it the right way.
• You can be soooo silly! Start reading a familiar book from the back to the front, or maybe start in the middle.
• Touch each page as you go along. Children usually enjoy turning pages. We read the left page, then the right page, then we turn the page.
• Point out the pictures and the words. On the page of a picture book, the words tell us about the picture--and the picture tells us about the words. We read the words, and we look at the pictures.
As your child becomes more experienced:
• Track the print with your finger as you read. Your child will become familiar with starting at the top of the page, moving along the line from left to right etc.
• Provide "left to right" experiences throughout the day. How many toy cars do we have? Line them up and count from left to right. When setting the table for dinner--put the napkin down, then the fork, then the plate, then the spoon or knife.
• Place magnetic letters and numbers on the refrigerator. Help your child sort the letters from the numbers. Can you find all the letters that have a hole in them?
• Find a favorite or repeating line of a book or song. On small pieces of paper or note cards write (with your child watching of course) one word on each piece of paper. Now line them up and point to each one as you read them. How about mixing them up and lining them up again? Be sure to leave a space between each word!
• Point out punctuation. You can find periods and question marks in your child's books, or in other books, newspapers, magazines, online stories around the house. Children will experience what these marks mean as you read with them.
Happy reading, Paula