Posts Tagged ‘reading comprehension’
To be really honest, as you start browsing Audible Kids, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the tremendous number of books for kids. It really is amazing to see the selection that they have. They have divided their library into various subcategories, but that is only so useful. Truthfully, there’s plenty of books in the 0-4 years category that Dylan (age 7) will still thoroughly enjoy. So, I thought I’d just post a few highlights from each category. These are stories that we have loved listening to and that seem to be fairly good values.
Note that on many picture books you can get an “Enhanced Version” that allows you to view pictures on your iPhone or computer.
Also, if you find that your children are enjoying audio stories, you may also want to check out Story Nory. Each week Natasha makes available a story for download. These are almost always fairy tales or myths or updates on Prince Bertie and friends, characters created by Story Nory. My kids like these stories, but the once-a-week release doesn’t usually keep up with their demand for new material.
Do you have any book recommendations for me? Leave a comment. Dylan will thank you!
For children of all ages, reading or listening comprehension is enhanced by making predictions about the story, talking or thinking out loud about the story during while reading, and summarizing the story. This is where parents reading with children is so essential. Parents prompt and support this thinking-while-reading process.
Younger children love the familiar. Parents quickly learn that they will be reading their child’s favorite book multiple times a day for months. At our house, we read “The Little Engine That Could” day in and day out when my son was four. This coincided with his general fascination with trains and his specific fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine. This is just fine! Read it again and again. When children are familiar with a story, they can also pay attention to other pre-literacy skills such as recognizing how text flows. Also, this allows a parent to mix it up a little bit. Substitute words with other words that rhyme. This teaches sound discrimination skills and reinforces listening comprehension skills when they realize that you “messed up.” At the end of the story, ask your child what might happen next or ask them to make up a new ending. Preschoolers can act out a story that they hear. This is a form of summarizing.
For older children, have them read out loud to you. Oral reading skills develop over time, so be patient and don’t over-correct your child. This can cause frustration. But do ask, “Does that make sense?” when the meaning is affected by an error. This teaches the child to attend to meaning as well as to the phonics of reading. Usually, my son and I will get a little laugh out of his mistake and he’ll correct the problem. Older children should also be asked to make predictions about what will happen next. Often I’ll ask my child to guess what a new vocabulary word means based on what he understands from the story. Then we’ll keep reading and see if it still makes sense. As much as possible, I try to get my son to summarize what happens in the stories we read. Truthfully, he hates this. So I tend to prompt with, “First, the story started with…” He fills in the blank from there. I’ll continue prompting him along with “And then…” or “After that…” Other times, I’ll tell him that I want him to tell me three or four things about the beginning of the story, the middle of the story and the end of the story.
Obviously, reading comprehension has to also happen as children read silently to themselves. So be sure to take the opportunity to assess comprehension after your child has been reading independently. At first, you’ll find that many kids have much better comprehension reading aloud. During silent reading, many children will skip difficult words or even a line of text and not necessarily slow down and figure it out when the text loses meaning. This is less likely to happen if the child is interested in the book, but distractions can still happen any time. So ask questions, have them summarize, have them predict what might happen later, or make up a new ending. Ask them what characters look like or what the setting looks like. Visualizing the text requires a child to extract meaning and really comprehend the writing.
We all make mistakes in reading and listening comprehension. We miss a word or a concept and end up having a good laugh when we realize what was actually intended. This is typical of most readers. As long as the problem is constant, you likely don’t need to worry much about your child. Just keep practicing reading.
Comprehension problems happen all the time with my daughter and songs. At four, she’s sure she knows the lyrics and sings them loudly and doesn’t have a clue what it means. Her version of “Swing, Swing” goes like this: “Swing, swing from the table sauce; My heart is flushed by a former love; Can you tell me buy; And can anyway to carry on again.” Share your funny story about reading or listening miscomprehension! We can all use a laugh! Leave us a comment below.