How to help your child’s
and help him/her
become a life-long
Rule Number 1
• According to the National Center for Education Statistics, reading aloud
to your child improves their listening skills and memory functions, as
well as fosters creativity.
• Reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for
building knowledge required for eventual success in reading. National
Academy of Education's Commission on Reading (1985)
• Reading aloud to children is one of the most effective and inexpensive
activities parents, caregivers and educators can do to promote literacy.
Children who are introduced to books early and read to on a regular
basis do better in school. --Herb, S. (1997) Building Blocks for literacy:
What current research shows. School Library Journal, 43(7), 23.
• In addition, according to Science Daily, letting children describe the
pictures in books, explain the meanings of stories, ask questions, and
talk about the story will improve not only their social skills, but also
their understanding of the world.
• Reading aloud also gives children a time to bond with parents.
The last 30 years of reading research confirms this
• Regardless of sex, race, nationality, or
• Students who read the most, read the best, achieve
the most, and stay in school the longest.
• Conversely, those who don’t read much, cannot get
better at it.
• --Jim Trelease, read-aloud guru and researcher
• Self-Monitor: Does this make sense?
If it doesn’t make sense, use fix-up strategies like
– Go back and reread.
– Read ahead to clarify meaning.
– Look at the pictures for clues.
– Summarize what’s happened
up until now.
Is everything your child brings to a book:
• Their personal history,
• All they’ve read or seen,
• Their adventures,
• The experiences of their day-to-day life,
• Their relationships, and
• Their passions.
Connections: Use what you know
me of . . .
because . . .
Visualize—Make Sensory Images
Make the movie in your
mind when you
read….smell the bread
baking….hear the birds
Visualizing is closely
connected to background
knowledge. (You can’t
visualize what you don’t
Readers who do not visualize
Generally do not enjoy
reading and do not
they are reading
• Super-important life skill
– Infer at the relational level,
– Make predictions,
– Make inferences “on the line” (Infer at the word level
using context clues and word substitution),
– Read “between the lines” (Make inferences about
what the author has implied), and
– Read “beyond the lines” (Create a unique meaning
that combines background knowledge, the text, and
• Look for a synonym. Sally and Susie often get into little
skirmishes, but they don’t let these little arguments spoil their
• Look for an antonym. (Compare and Contrast) Nicho tried to
conceal his actions, but his face showed that he was reading
another book at his desk.
• Look for the definition. Babushka lived in a dacha, a small house
in the Russian countryside.
• Look for words that appear in a series. The dulcimer, banjo, and
the fiddle are popular instruments in the Appalachian Mountains.
• Look at cause and effect. My husband infuriates me when he
throws away papers that are important to me.
• Look at general context. He reminded me of Yin. Yin was a king
in China during the 1500’s whom I had studied about in school.)
Text + Background Knowledge =
This is reading “between the lines.”
Reading between the lines can help us:
– Predict what will happen,
– Know what the character is feeling,
– Determine the character’s character,
– Know when a character is acting in and out of
– Understand the character’s motivation,
– Reason out the “must haves”, and
– Follow jumps in time.
Thin and thick questions.
The answer to a thin question is right there in the
book. These questions are important to our
understanding. Who hit Sammy?
The answer to a thick question is not in the book.
These questions open the door to deep thinking.
Why was that boy so mean?
Two types of thin questions:
• Right There questions are formulated with words taken exactly from
the text. Answers can be found in the same sentence.
• Think and Search questions ask students to think about the information
they read and to search through the entire passage to find information
Two types of thick questions:
• Author and You questions require students to have read the text to
understand the questions; however, the answers are not found in the
• On My Own questions can be answered by students based on their
background knowledge; they do not require reading the text.
into a piece,
what they care
about. If you ask
questions as you
read you are
• Is the word I don’t know important
enough for me to look up?
• What was important in that
• What sentence is most important in
• What was important in the chapter?
When we determine importance:
• We separate out what’s important from what’s interesting.
• We sort out less important details from more important
• We notice how supporting details come together to help
us get bigger, more important ideas.
• We use the text features and visuals to get important
• We put our thinking into our own words.
• We remember that the author and the reader may have
different ideas about what is important.
-Stephanie Harvey Complete Toolkit p. 66
• To synthesize is the ability to
determine the overall meaning and
• It is closely related to determining
importance. Have you ever heard
someone tell you about a movie who
didn’t know how to synthesize?
• Help your child learn how to tell a
summary of a story in a few sentences.
This book is about . . .
• Evaluation is when a reader decides
what they like or do not like about
what they have read.
• Evaluation is the reader’s chance to
assess the book or text.
• You can also have students evaluate if
this could really happen or if it’s
• Decide if the author was able to make
the story come to life. Why?
• Decide if the story was informative,
entertaining or useful. Why do you
• Think about how well you understood
the text. What was difficult/easy?
• Decide if you enjoyed the text. Why?