Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to Storytime!

Welcome back to storytime!

I'm spending some quality time with the 6 Every Child Ready to Read early literacy skills this week for a training project I'm working on, and thought I'd do a review post about them as we head into storytime season.

The six skills researchers have identified as essential for kids to have in place before they can be successful readers are:

Print Motivation: Loving books! Being interested in books and enjoying books.
Important Because: Kids who are more interested in books are more motivated to learn to read on their own.

Phonological Awareness: Hearing sounds! Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words, like rhymes, syllables, beginning sounds.
Important Because: Kids have to be able to hear how words "come apart" before they can sound words out successfully.

Vocabulary: Knowing words! Knowing the names of things.
Important Because: The bigger a child's vocabulary, the easier it is to recognize words on the page and understand what is being read.

Narrative Skills: Telling stories! Being able to desribe things and events and tell stories.
Important Because: This is the comprehension piece. If you can describe what you're reading, you can understand it. If you can't understand it, you're not going to be very motivated to read.

Print Awareness: Seeing print! Seeing print everywhere, knowing how books work, how words work on a page.
Important Because: You can't start tackling learning to read print until you understand what it is.

Letter Knowledge: Knowing letters! Knowing that letters have different names, shapes, and sounds.
Important Because: You can't start to sound words out if you don't understand what words are made of.

If you do a storytime, tell us a little about how you provide your literacy tip to parents in your sessions. Do you do it at the beginning? Middle? End? Do you have a routine, or do you try different things each time?


Allison said...

I am very interested in hearing how all of you do provide these literacty tips to the parents! The last couple of times I have said the tip after my intro song I have literally seen the parents roll their eyes...which does not encourage me by any means! I hope to hear some successful ways to encourage parents to be excited about these tips (because it can help them as parents of future readers!!!) Thanks!

Elisabeth said...


I hate to say it, but I've had the same response. I've tried lots of different times in lots of different ways, but I just get glazed over looks and nobody ever takes the literature or books we have on display. They are not on board with this yet. It's discouraging! Those who've been successful with getting the parents excited too - what's your secret!? Thanks.

Melissa said...

Tough crowds! When I do my literacy tip, I do notice that while some adults are paying attention, some are totally zoning. But I've never seen anyone actually roll their eyes at me. I don't have a lot of luck getting people to pick up either books or handouts from the display, but I do have parents who come up to me after storytime or other times they see me in the library and ask questions about reading to their kids, so it's sinking in that I'm someone who might have ideas to share when they're ready. My own strategy is to try let them know how cool I think it is that this stuff can make a difference. But I've been doing the baby storytimes mostly: maybe "newer" parents are more receptive to tips and tricks?

cheryl said...
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cheryl said...

I also have had the same response. The parents usually do not take the literature with them. Many of the Koelbel parents are well educated and may feel they know this iformation and many of the children are brought to storytime by a nanny and the nanny may not be interested. This may explain some lack of interest. I don't feel the lack of interest is necessarily due to how we present the information.

Karen H said...

My storytime is made up of a group of daycare providers that bring their kids in once a month. These women will usually pick up the handouts that I place on a table at the back. But find frequently they are talking among themselves when I try to talk about the literacy skill.