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Growing A Reading Culture
 

Growing A Reading Culture

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A presentation from Through the Magic Door outlining what parents can do to establish a reading culture in their home along with the research underpinning those steps.

A presentation from Through the Magic Door outlining what parents can do to establish a reading culture in their home along with the research underpinning those steps.

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    Growing A Reading Culture Growing A Reading Culture Presentation Transcript

    • Growing a Reading Culture © Through the Magic Door
    • What is a reading culture? • 10% of the population read 80% of the books. 50% of the population read no book for pleasure in the prior twelve months. • The best first grade readers read 74 books a year for pleasure (versus the average of 39). The best High School readers read 25 books a year for pleasure (versus the average of 6). • 100% of the best readers read every day versus the average of 30%. • In a reading household young children are read to every day versus the average of only 50%. • The best readers spend several hours reading per week versus an average of an hour and twenty minutes. • The average number of books in a house is less than 10. Among the best readers the number exceeds 200. © Through the Magic Door
    • Can you grow a reading culture? Absolutely! • There is a path to a reading culture. • It starts at home. • It starts with you and your choices. • What to do? Plant the roots. © Through the Magic Door
    • Growing a Reading Culture Indulge Serendipity Quiet Places Don’t Rush Variety is the Spice of Life Reading Routines Make it Personal Meals with Discussions Avoid Toxic Spills • Books as punishment • Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good Read to Them • Competitive reading Talk A Lot • Books as bibliotherapy Be Seen Reading Books Everywhere Give Them the Power of Choice Make Books As Important In Your Life As You Wish Them To Be In Your Child’s Life © Through the Magic Door
    • Talk A Lot • One of the best predictors of a child’s reading capability on entering kindergarten is simply the volume of words they have heard in their life to that date. • The volume of words heard in their life is not only a predictor for their reading ability in Kindergarten but also their academic performance in Third and Fifth grades, i.e. it is an action with a sustained influence. • Volume is everything, it doesn’t matter too much what you wish to talk about. Just talk. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Be Seen Reading • Be seen by your child to be reading yourself. – If you don’t value reading, they are unlikely to do so either • Children can be like Dr. Schweizer’s goslings, they imprint on what they see. • They want to grow up, they want to be a grown-up and do what grown-ups do. That includes driving, going out, making decisions; and yes, if they associate adults with reading, then it means reading as well. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Give Them the Power of Choice – The more unstructured the choice of reading is, the more likely children will gravitate to those books or genres which they enjoy – The greater variety of books to which they have access, the more probable it is that they will find something that they love – You still get to shape the general direction of books to which they have access. There is every opportunity to select those books which conform with your own values and beliefs, as long as children perceive themselves as making the final choice Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books Everywhere • If you can afford it, buy a lot of books. If not, visit and stock up at the library frequently. – Make trips to a bookstore or the library a part of the family routine. • Consider more than just books. – Newspapers, magazines, comic books; anything that has them following a sustained narrative. • Refresh the candidate books as often as is practical. – Kids love to discover new things and the easiest things to discover are those closest to hand. – Sometimes refresh can simply mean moving the books around. Take from one room to another, move from one shelf to another. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Read to Them Read with Them • After the simple act of talking with your children, reading to and with them is by far the next most important activity. • Read to children early and often and for as long as they are willing to be read to – Start with short reading sessions and build the child’s capacity to sustain attention – Read a wide variety of genres (wordless picture books, picture books with texts, poetry, narrative stories, etc.) – For young children, don’t worry about reading every word or even finishing the book. Talk about the pictures. Read only for as long as they pay attention. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Make it Personal • When they are very young, snuggle up close. • Make reading the activity with which they associate closeness, security and comfort. • When they are older, share your books with them, ask to borrow books they have enjoyed. • With young children, use books as a happy distraction from the dramas of the moment. Cut their finger? Snuggle up and read. Cranky and tired? Snuggle up and read. Dozy? Snuggle up and read. • There are many ties that bind – those of the intimacy of shared reading are among the closest and longest lasting. Research © Through the Magic Door Return
    • Reading Routines • Set aside time (as much and as often as possible) such as in the morning, mid-day, and in the evening for reading so that your child looks forward to that as part of his or her normal daily activities. • Find opportunities during the daily routine to squeeze in extra reading – While waiting to pick up a sibling from the bus, during intermission at a sports game, etc. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Meals with Conversations • The more conversation they hear, the more words they become familiar with, the better they understand the ebb and flow of a narrative, the more they understand the sequence and structure of a story – all things that will be reinforced as they later read themselves. • The more conversation they partake in they more the build the disciplines of self-control (don’t interrupt), interpretation and imagination (what did they mean by that?), sustained focus, etc. • Discuss books you are reading and that your children are reading. Query them (gently) so that they have to organize their thoughts and recall what it was they read and why they liked it (or not). • Discuss what’s going on in the world and in their lives. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Quiet Places • If possible, make sure children have a quiet place and a quiet time where they can always find a refuge for reading. A time where they are free from chores, free from disturbances, free from the here and now. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Variety is the Spice of Life (next) • Children are highly variable. Children change in highly variable ways and at highly variable rates. • One size does not fit all. When introducing children to the world of reading (how and what to read), what works for one child might not for another. One approach or one type of book won’t always be appropriate for the same child over time. • Context is everything and no one knows your child as well as you do. Research Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Variety is the Spice of Life (cont’d) • For example: – Competitive reading is generally a bad thing but there are some children for whom that challenge is exactly what they need. – Trashy books are not particularly desirable but sometimes comic books, serials, particular titles or a specific genre is what grabs their attention and imagination and can be the means for locking in the habit of reading. – When you are reading with them, at some points you should just read (let them develop the pleasure of hearing your voice and following the story), at a later time it might be appropriate to start coaching them on recognizing particular words or even begin reading segments themselves. You have to be the judge of when Research to do these things and when to back-off. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Don’t Rush, Don’t Worry, Be Happy • With the program outlined here, (good examples, good books and adequate instruction in school), your child will master reading in an appropriate time frame. Children’s rate of development is hugely variable in the younger years; some capabilities are acquired more quickly than others. It will come. • The last thing you want to do is turn children away from reading by making it a pressured and unpleasant experience. • They’ll get there in their own time with quiet support. • Kindergarten to Third Grade is the period (when children are developing the skill of reading) when people are most prone to push and try and accelerate things. • The best readers in the world (the Finns) do not even begin formal reading instruction until their children are seven years old. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Indulge Serendipity • Look for your child’s magic book. Not all readers have it but many if not most do. – The first book they read to themselves. – The first book given to them by a cherished family member or friend. – The first book in which they encountered a character with whom they can relate. – The first book which opened up a new way of seeing things or new prospects. – There is virtually no predicting which book it will be, but it is probably there and is the launch pad for all other reading. • You never know where it might come from. Hence the importance of many books and many chances. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Don’t Let the Best Be the Enemy of the Good (next) • The best quality book is that which a child has enjoyed and which motivates them to read again. – Certainly select for the best but don’t be too concerned if your child has phases where their preference is for comic books, series books (such as the Berenstain Bears, Arthur, Franklin, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, et al), heavily retold classics for younger readers, manga, etc. They all help form and feed the habit of reading. With a well established habit, they will evolve towards better books on their own. – Once your child has become an independent reader the issue of values and language in children’s books (what sorts of behavior are being held as norms and what sorts of language is being used) becomes more of an issue. Seek guidance from experienced librarians, reviews, or most simply, from the Red Flag section of TTMD book reviews. In moderate amounts, inappropriate norms are to be expected (they probably hear much worse from their peers). It is the coaching of them to recognize those norms as inappropriate that is the challenge (and the opportunity). Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Don’t Let the Best Be the Enemy of the Good (cont’d) • Don’t be too concerned about correctness. – Many children’s books, particularly anything more than ten or twenty years old, are subject to charges of subtle sexism, classism, racism, etc. Every book is both an artifact of its time as well as a victim of later fashions. The opportunity is to encourage children to recognize the issue and understand it in its context. In most cases, the criticisms are so refined and the charge of such an attenuated nature that the child will never pick up on it. The difficulty is that children read at a much more shallow level than we expect but at the same time with a far greater intensity and attention. They don’t know what they don’t know but they can also bring unexpected insight. In all instances – Discuss! • Similarly, there are authors who have written wonderful children’s books but who are later criticized for opinions that they held that were in the mainstream of thought in their period but are no longer considered acceptable. – L. Frank Baum of Wizard of Oz, Rudyard Kipling of Jungle Book, Joseph Conrad of Heart of Darkness, the list is frighteningly long. Rather than gutting all the wonderful books of yore based on present day opinions, far better to – Discuss! Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books as Punishment • Avoid wherever possible, the situation where you threaten to take away books as a punishment for some other undesirable behavior. • Conversely, especially avoid making having to read something the punishment for some other behavior. • The more that reading is associated with unpleasant connotations, the less likely a child is to indulge in reading. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Competitive Reading • That which becomes a task or an obligation ceases to be an inspiration or a pleasure. • Most of the best readers in school are put off by the shallow requirements of “proving” you read a book. • “I hate a program that effectively encourages children to lie!” Librarian Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books as Bibliotherapy • There is a temptation, particularly with a child who loves reading, to use books as a form of therapy to help through bad times. These usually encompass moving house, starting school, bullying, having to go to the hospital, death, illness, etc. – This is an entirely logical and natural inclination. The problem arises when it is used too frequently. Books become associated with bad things which becomes a disincentive to further reading. – Where possible, for example anticipating the passing of an elderly relative, plan ahead and introduce the appropriate books in a time frame separate from the event. When the event comes to pass, the child can be referenced back to the book and how a protagonist dealt with a similar tragedy. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Citations • All of the recommendations above are grounded in common sense, personal experience and anecdotal experience among other people. Academic “proof” is somewhat more treacherous ground. Many of the elements are attested to in the literature of academia but the nature and quality of studies and surveys can be highly variable. Consequently, for even the most obvious point, you can often find a study that takes exception. Listed below are sources of data to support each of the positions mentioned above. It is by no means an academically rigorous exercise to test each of the suggested actions, merely to show that there is evidence to support them. © Through the Magic Door
    • Talk A Lot • The amount of verbal engagement (talking) with a child in the pre- kindergarten years is very highly correlated with reading capability and later academic success. The variation experienced by children in more taciturn families and more talkative families is a factor of three and a half. By the time they enter kindergarten, a child from a taciturn family will have heard in aggregate thirteen million words whereas a child from a talkative family will have heard forty-eight million words. – Source: Research by Betty Hart and Todd Risley including Meangingful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, Betty Hart, 1995 and “A Natural History of Early Language Experience”, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20(1), 2000, Betty Hart and Todd Risley. • Frequency of communication is highly correlated with vocabulary acquisition. Three year-olds from highly communicative families had an average vocabulary of 1,100 words versus a vocabulary of only 525 words for children from taciturn families. Vocabulary size is correlated with IQ, reading acquisition as well as with academic success. Between 86 and 98% of a child’s vocabulary maps to what they have heard in the home. – Source: Research by Betty Hart and Todd Risley including Meangingful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, Betty Hart, 1995 and “A Natural History of Early Language Experience”, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20(1), 2000, Betty Hart and Todd Risley. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Be Seen Reading • “Children read more when they see other people reading.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Morrow, L. 1982. Relationships between literature programs, library corner designs, and children’s use of literature. Journal of Educational Research 75: 339-344. – Morrow, L. 1983. Home and school correlates of early interest in literature. Journal of Educational Research 76: 221-230. – Neuman, S. 1986. The home environment and fifth-grade students’ leisure reading. Elementary School Journal 86: 335-343. – McCracken, R. and M. McCracken. 1978. Modeling is the key to sustained silent reading. Reading Teacher 31: 406-408. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Give Them the Power of Choice • “. . . more leisure reading while they were in the program, but also were still reading more than comparison students six years later.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Greaney, V. and M. Clarke . 1975. A longitudinal study of the effects of two reading methods on leisure-time reading habits. In Reading: What of the future? Ed. D. Moyle. London: United Kingdom Reading Association, pp. 107-114. • “. . . free voluntary reading studies show that more reading results in better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and gramatical development.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Krashen, S. 1988. Do we learn by reading? The relationship between free reading and reading ability. In Linguistics in context: Connecting observation and understandingI, ed. D. Tannen. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex, pp. 269-298. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books Everywhere • “A rich print environment in the home is related to how much children read; children who read more have more books at home.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Morrow, L. 1983. Home and school correlates of early interest in literature. Journal of Educational Research 76: 221-230. – Neuman, S. 1986. The home environment and fifth-grade students’ leisure reading. Elementary School Journal 86: 335-343 – Greaney, V. and M. Hegarty. 1987. Correlations of leisure time reading. Journal of Rearch in Reading 10: 3-20. • “Enriching the print environments in classrooms has been shown to result in more reading.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Morrow, L., and C. Weinstein. 1982. Increasing children’s use of literature through program and physical changes. Elementary School Journal 83: 131- 137. Continue Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books Everywhere • “Enriching the print environment by means of a school library results in more reading.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Cleary, F. 1939. Why children read. Wilson Library Bulletin 14: 119-126. – Gaver, M. 1963. Effectiveness of centralized library service in elementary schools. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. • “Students take more books out of school libraries that have more books and stay open longer.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Houle, R. and C. Montmarquette. 1984. An empirical analysis of loans by school libraries. Alberta Journal of Educational Research 30: 104-114. • “The richer the print environment, that is, the more reading material available, the better the literacy development.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Krashen, S. 1985a Inquiries and insights. Menlo Park, California: Alemany Press. – Snow, C., W. Barnes, J. Chandler, I. Goodman, and H. Hemphill. 1991. Unfulfilled expectations: Home and school influences on literacy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Continue Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books Everywhere • Number of books in a home correlates to test scores. For seniors in 2005, those from homes with more than 100 books scored 25-30% better across the board (science, mathematics, civics, history) than those from homes with less than ten books. – Source: TRONTR page 12, US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics • It might be assumed that prevalence of books in a home is a function of income. The data is not directly available to test that assumption. However, another variable strongly correlated to income is available, level of parental education attained. Children from a home where their parents attained a high school degree and have more than a hundred books in the house scored materially better on tests (History 5.5% better, Maths 5.8% better, Civics 16% better and Science 17.5% better) than children from homes where the parents graduated college but where there are fewer than ten books. – Source: TRONTR page 74, US Deparment of Education, National Center of Education Statistics Continue Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Books Everywhere • “Children get much of their reading from libraries.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Lamme, L. 1976. Are reading habits and abilities related? Reading Teacher 30:21-27. – Ingham, J. 1981. Books and reading development: The Braford book flood experiment. London: Heinemann Educational Books. – Wendelin, K. and R.A. Zinck. 1983. How students make book choices. Reading Horizins 23:84-88 Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Read to Them • “Children who are read to at home read more on their own.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Morrow, L., and C. Weinstein. 1982. Increasing children’s use of literature through program and physical changes. Elementary School Journal 83: 131- 137. – Morrow, L., and C. Weinstein. 1986. Encouraging voluntary reading: The impact of a literature program on children’s use of library centers. Reading Research Quarterly 21: 330-346. • “Hearing stories has a direct impact on literary development.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen. – Cohen, D. 1968. The effects of literature on vocabulary and reading achievement. Elementary English 45: 209-217. – Feitelson, D., B. Kita and Z. Goldstein, 1986. Effects of listening to series stories on first graders’ comprehension and use of language. Research in the Teaching of English 20: 339-356. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Make it Personal • “Children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member were nearly twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to those that were read to less than three times a week at home.” – National Institute for Literacy, Parental Involvement in Learning. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Reading Routines • “Parents of fifth-graders classified as heavy readers allowed their children to read in bed more than parents of fifth graders classified as non-readers.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Greaney, V. and M. Hegarty. 1987. Correlations of leisure time reading. Journal of Rearch in Reading 10: 3-20. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Quiet Places • “A good reading environment encourages reading.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Morrow, L. 1983. Home and school correlates of early interest in literature. Journal of Educational Research 76: 221-230. – Greaney, V. and M. Hegarty. 1987. Correlations of leisure time reading. Journal of Rearch in Reading 10: 3-20. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Variety is the Spice of Life • “Light reading is not to be avoided but should be used as a conduit to more serious reading.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Dorrell, L. and E. Carroll. 1981. Spider-man at the library. School Library Journal • “Reading ability is related to reading material.” The Power of Reading. Stephen Krashen. – Rice, E. 1986. The everyday activities of adults: Implications for prose recall. Educational Gerontology 12:173-186. – Hafner, L., B. Plamer, and S. Tullos. 1986. The differential reading interests of good and poor readers in the ninth grade. Reading Improvement 23: 39-42. • “Many children who do extensive free reading eventually choose what experts have decided are “good books”. – Schoonover, R. 1938. The case for voluminous reading. English Journal 27:114-118. – LaBrant, L. 1958. An evaluation of free reading. In Research in the three R’s, ed. C. Hunnicutt and W. Iverson. New York: Harper and Brothers, pp. 154-161. – Bader, L. J. Veatch, and J. Eldridge. 1987. Trade books or basal readers? Reading Improvement 24: 62-67. Continue Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Variety is the Spice of Life • “Magazine reading appears to promote more reading.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Rucker, B. 1982. Magazines and teenage reading skills: Two controkked field experiments. Journalism Quarterly 59: 28-33. • “Apparently it is not the presence of television that prevents children from reading; more likely it is the absence of good books.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen • “. . . free voluntary reading studies show that more reading results in better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and gramatical development.” The Power of Reading, Stephen Krashen – Krashen, S. 1988. Do we learn by reading? The relationship between free reading and reading ability. In Linguistics in context: Connecting observation and understandingI, ed. D. Tannen. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex, pp. 269-298. Return © Through the Magic Door
    • Other Elements • Elements of attraction – posters, displays of books, all help draw children to reading. • Bed lamps encourage reading • Children tend to prefer paperbacks over hardbacks • Book ownership • Booktalks © Through the Magic Door
    • Contacts • If you have any questions about this presentation, please feel free to contact: Charles Bayless Through the Magic Door® 1579 Monroe Drive, Suite F150 Atlanta, Georgia 30324 Charles.bayless@ttmd.com Office: (404) 898-9096 © Through the Magic Door