Dec 18, 2017

Start the Year off With a Good Book

ELEA Monthly News: January 2018
By Doris Knuth

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”

Happy New Year to you all.  The hectic pace of the holidays are behind us.  Christmas services done, learning music, reciting bible verses and making parent gifts completed and received with great joy.  Time to get back to our daily schedule as usual.  As we enter 2018 with renewed energy, I would like to offer ideas for your programs and families around the concept of January as Literacy Month. 

Nurturing young children comes in many forms.  Language and play are a young child’s tool for learning everything about the world.  It is also the most important tool for early literacy learning.  We continue to include literacy in everything we do in our classrooms and in our communication with families.  As children grow, their interests evolve and their thinking processes expand.  Here are a few ideas for you to share on increasing children’s excitement about books. Developing a love for books includes more than just reading to children. 

Reading Aloud

Here are some suggestions when reading aloud to children that will increase vocabulary, teach the fundamentals of literacy, expose children to images and words, and increase their reading preparedness.

  • Read together every day
    o   Set up a specific time for reading each day
  • Give everything a name
  • o   Read the title, author and illustrator’s name
  • Let your child know how much you enjoy reading
    o        Read like you mean it
    o        Make your voice change
    o        Make it fun
    o        Move your finger as you read
  • Know when to stop
    o        When your child loses interest come back to it later
  • Be interactive
    o        Ask questions, talk about the illustrations, make predictions
  • Read it again and again
    o        This helps children make words and concepts permanent
  • Talk about writing
    o        Moving your finger along the words helps children understand what you are reading are actually written
  • Point out print everywhere

Teacher Read Aloud

Reading aloud helps students learn how language makes sense of the world, improves processing skills, vocabulary and comprehension.  Below are some additional points on the value of reading aloud to children.

  • Creates a classroom community, and can be used to begin critical thinking skills that are related and unrelated to the reading
  • Encourages discussions which allow children to construct meaning and connect ideas and experiences by using their prior knowledge
  • Helps children learn improve their listening skills and their connection to the story.
  • Motivates children to read

Reading Non Fiction

Reading nonfiction books prepares students to develop research skills. Nonfiction books include literacy, essays, biographies, charts and maps. Additional benefits of using nonfiction books in any level classroom are included here. 

  • Helps students develop background knowledge
  • Allows children  to understand how and why the  world works the way it does
  • Will help build self confidence
  • Helps assimilate the language of science and history
  • Encourages a nonreader into reading by gaining facts and ideas that interest them


Reading poetry builds phonemic awareness as well as vocabulary, fluency, expression and writing.  Poetry can be successfully incorporated into any grade level. The list below includes the highlights of Poetry.

  • Rhythm and rhyme helps children remember what they have heard, improves language skills and word association
  • Memorizing nursery rhymes or short poems helps children become better readers and can also improve physical development and coordination
  • Rhymes can increase cognitive skill by allowing children to learn that similar sounding words can have different meanings
  • Poems help children to build a sense of humor and clever forms of wordplay which is important in their social and emotional development

Spiritual readings

The Bible is a book that encompasses many areas of literacy.  Helping all children develop a sense of faith is necessary but complex.  The Bible is rich in history which gives us a look into the past, but also is filled with the Good News that moves us forward to the future.

Winter is here no matter where you call home, hunker down with a good book and enjoy this season of waiting.   


Here are just a few resources for additional ideas and information around literacy. Use what you want and share with whomever you would like.

Brenda Power/Choice Literacy,Kindergarten


Below is the list of references used in this month’s newsletter. 

Pinnell, G.S. & Fountas, I. C. 2011. Literacy Beginnings, A Prekindergarten Handbook. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Center for Learning “What are the benefits of reading aloud”.…/teach…/what_are_the_benefits_of_reading_aloud_ed.pdf

ASCD “Nonfiction reading promotes student success”.

Where the book are “Joy of nonfiction”.

I Storybooks “Why poetry is so important for children “.

I Can Teach My Child “Seven things you should be doing as you’re reading to your child”.

 © Doris Knuth for ELEA 2017