As I was spending time today thinking about the New Year and my New Year's resolutions, I found an article by our own (Springfield Massachusetts' own) Jim Trelease, author of The Read Aloud Handbook and internationally-known educator.
Reading it reinforced my decision to pick one of Joanne Goldblum's New Year's Resolutions (see earlier 12/27 blog) and STICK TO IT! To make 3rd grade reading proficency a reality for Springfield's (and our nation's) children.
I found Jim's article when I was looking for the #1 predictor of school success.
Jim helped us launch our community-wide initiative Reading Success by 4th Grade. His words have given us our mantra. We understand that we must continually encourage parents - as their children's first teacher - to read aloud to their children every day. And, as he reminds us, we must also encourage parents to talk to their children about what they are reading.
This is the way to build children's vocabulary.
Read aloud to children every day. Read their favorite books over and over again. Ask them questions about what's happening in the book. Listen to their responses. Have back and forth conversations. And read more books aloud together.
Here's the article. He says it the best!
Thank you, Jim Trelease, for being our Read Aloud - guru.
Thank you Joanne Goldblum, for my - and hopefully for those of millions of people - New Year's resolutions!