One of my most favorite parts of teaching (besides watching their little brains expand and of course sensory play) was circle time. Circle time requires lots of skills for preschoolers. Following directions, listening, reading comprehension…to name a few 🙂
On Monday when I would introduce the book, I read it using dialogic reading. Dialogic reading is a great way to get preschoolers more involved in what you’re reading to them. It’s asking follow up questions or precursor questions about the book. “What does it look like will happen next? Is that dog wearing swim trunks? Do dogs wear swim trunks? Where do you think he’s going in those swim trunks?” You can expand on their answers and ask more questions. You can rephrase their responses to gain more information and insight from them. In a way, you become the listener, and he becomes the reader.
Before I dive into the specifics of dialogic reading, I am going to give you a list of the benefits of reading to your kids. It truly does so much for them (and you) that you may not even know.
Benefits of reading with your children
- They learn how to sit still! This can be a tough skill to teach and I think parents don’t realize how easy it is. When you give kids something interesting to do, sitting still can be much easier for them to accomplish.
- Bonding – this is super important. If you get nothing from reading with your kids, get this! It’s one on one time that is easy and beneficial for everyone.
- Following directions – work on following directions by telling them when to turn the page.
- Taking turns – take turns with them when you’re turning the page or (if they’re older), reading certain words.
- Reading – I am convinced my oldest learned how to read so early because we read at least 3 books a night to him.
- Exploration – Reading teaches your kids about the world around them – a world that they may otherwise never even be aware of.
- Emotional developments – Children oftentimes learn about emotion through books. They learn that there are emotions out there that they didn’t know about, and how to deal with them. Side note, here is a list of emotional regulation books you can check out
Dialogic reading helps challenge kids to think outside of the book. It assists with verbal fluency, conversational skills and abilities and narrative skills (story telling).
Dialogic reading is broken down into 5 different types of prompts – CROWD.
You read a sentence to your child and leave out the last word. These are very popular for books that have repetitive lines or rhyming lines. Your child completes the sentence.
These prompts help the child remember what was just read or what was read at a previous time. So you could ask them in the beginning of the book “what does the caterpillar turn into after he eats all the food?” if he has read the book before. If he hasn’t read the book before, you would ask the question at the end of the book.
These are my favorite. We would call these “picture walks” of the book. These prompts focus primarily on the pictures. You could say “what is happening in this picture?” “Where do you think that little boy is going?” “What do you think the next food he eats will be?”
These are the questions that begin with “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.” These are also focusing on the pictures. “What is that toy?” “What color is that?”
These are prompts that encourage kids to connect the book with their life outside of the book. “Remember when we saw that caterpillar yesterday in the backyard? Do you think he was going to turn into a butterfly? Do you think he ate salami?”
Distancing and recall prompts are for the older kiddos (4 to 5 year olds) and are often the more difficult of the 5, so don’t feel discouraged if your smaller ones don’t really grasp those.