This article focuses on Dialogic Reading and Emergent Literacy.
Let’s face it; some moms have to go back to work after maternity leave is over. I was lucky; we had the resources to stretch my time out for three and half years. I had a stay-at-home job that provided some income for a while, but the income was insufficient. I had to find a better paying job outside the home and could not find a public school position as a school librarian right away.
I was fortunate that I found a job as an emergent literacy consultant and reading specialist for a United Way Success by Six Program. My job involved visiting area daycare centers to model a dialogic emergent reading program to the care providers. The dialogic reading is just a fancy name for a simple activity. When you read to infants and toddlers, you engage them in a conversation about the book by asking questions about the illustrations or about something in the storyline.
What Is Dialogic Reading?
It boils down to a simple word: PEER. Prompt the child to talk about something involved with the storybook you are sharing: “What is that?” Pointing to a picture. For older toddlers, “What do you think will happen next?” Evaluate their response by praising or gently correcting. “You were so close. It is a building.” “Great, it is a building.” Expand by adding to their answer. “That’s a fire station. Who works at a fire station? A firefighter, firefighters put out fires and help people.” Repeat, “What is that again? Wait for an answer. Right a building.”
The best books to use with the method are a nonfiction picture book. You can use it with fiction, but I only did that on my second read after Katie Rose got a chance to just enjoy the story for the story.
This reading method turns picture books into learning tools for emergent reading. Next time you read a picture book to your toddler try it out. For more information, read “Dialogic Reading: An Effective Way to Read to Preschoolers” by Grover Whitehurst on the Reading Rockets website. You can also visit : http://dialogic-reading.blogspot.com/
Tomorrow I will touch on the consulting aspect of my job and what I learned about picking a quality daycare program.