Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Reading" Pictures

Can you believe it? At 14 months, Baby L is already READING!!!!

Seriously! She is!

What you don't believe me? (And NO-- I am not talking about "Your Baby Can Read." More on that some other time.)

It all depends on what your definition of what "reading" means. For many of us reading teachers out there, "reading" means making sense out of text. Literacy experts know that one of the first important steps into reading is when young children begin to understand that pictures and pages in books hold meaning.

L loves to turn the pages of her favorite books all by herself and name what she sees in the pictures. She even holds the book right side up... most of the time. When she "reads" it sounds like this:

Page 1: (pointing to a baby's face) Uh oh!
Page 2: (pointing to a baby hiding under a hat) Boo! (That's Baby L's word for peekaboo)
Page 3: (pointing to baby and woman) Mama!
Page 4: Nummy nummy nummy (points to a baby holding a spoon covered in yogurt)

She's totally reading!

Now I've started coaching her a little. I'll say, "L, what's this page say?" and I point to the picture. Then L says the closest "word" she knows (which is sometimes really just a sound effect like "vroom vroom" for car)-- but she is 100% making sense. She totally gets it.

What a great tiny reader she is!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Reading Resolutions!

Happy New Year!

It's the time of year when we all think ahead to the coming year and make big plans and big promises for ourselves. We think back on what we were able to do (and not do) last year and we think about how things can be better in the year ahead.

I've been thinking a lot on how much Baby L has grown since last year and my head just spins! Last year she was just a tiny newborn. She'd sit in my lap and listen intently as I read book after book after book. Her fingers would "skritchy-skratch" across the pictures and she'd pull books into her mouth to suck on them. I remember how proud I was when around this time of year last year she started turning pages!

Now, one year later, Baby L has favorite books of her own. She picks them out of her stacks of books that we have all over the house and she "reads" them to herself, opening and closing them (not quite turning one page at a time on her own yet), pointing and talking. For the book Baby Talk she always says "Mama!" because she loves the page that says "Mama." For Jamberry she says "Boom boom!" because she loves the page that says "Moonberry, zoomberry, rockets shoot by!" As far as I'm concerned -- she's reading!!!!!

(Sidenote - Lately, she's actually been getting very upset when the Jamberry ends and always wants to read it again... and again... and again... sometimes grabbing the book in frustration because she wants to skip right to the good part with the "boom." What a passionate reader!)

This year Baby L and I have a few things we definitely plan to do as readers together. Here are our New Year's Reading Resolutions:

1) Go to the library every week (and maybe even return all of our books on time!).

2) Read a few books each night at bedtime, and every day at naptime.

3) Keep books all around the house, and bring books with us when we go on trips in the car or when we ride on the subway.

4) Make sure Baby L sees Mommy and Daddy reading.

What are your New Year's Reading Resolutions? Post a comment and share!