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!


  1. Oh what fun! Thanks for sharing about your great tiny reader.

  2. #1 YAY for Baby L! I have that book, and I "read" it, too - Mommy finds it a little disturbing that I always laugh at the "boo hoo" page, though.

    #2 Mommy and I would LOVE for us to join us on our March of Dimes walk! If you follow the link below, there's a "Join this Team" button towards the top under the picture. :)

  3. I accidentally deleted a comment that went to my spam filter, but wanted to try to recreate this person's anonymous post it because I think his/her comment brings up a topic that many teachers and parents have very strong (and differing) opinions about.

    The anonymous post went something like this-- "Reading pictures is not the same as reading words. There is a big difference."

    Anonymous commenter, if you are still out there, would you like to add to this?

    Without going into detail, I will simply post this person's comment and say that while I do believe that learning letters and sounds is an important part of learning to read, my background as a researcher and teacher leads me to believe that there is much more than decoding words involved in reading. That is all I will say for now.

    Happy blogging and commenting everybody!

  4. I'm enjoying your blog!

    After I named my own blog "TIny Readers" (I hadn't come across yours at the time, no plagiarism involved!) I wondered if I'd chosen an inaccurate title, but decided to stick with it anyway.

    I like the idea that reading is about more than the printed word.

    As things turn out, Emily has picked up the alphabet and can recognise a handful of printed words now, not because we set out to teach her, but because she spends so much time with books and alphabet toys/puzzles that she's just picked it up.