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This might be the most gorgeous description of a reader, just on the cusp of reading on her own:

At her age, “reading to yourself” means “reading out loud.” Silent reading is perhaps a year away. I get caught up in listening. Can’t help it! Such a delight, those confident trotting sentences and then the stumble, the try and re-try and a tap on my arm, “Mommy, what’s this word?”

So writes Melissa Wiley on her blog Here in the Bonny Glen (opens in a new window). Lissa describes being distracted from her writing by this joyful noise. “My book will get written. This story unfolds only once. I’m on the edge of my seat.”

Ahhhh … beginning to read. What a special time that is. Excited parents and teachers doing what they can (but not too much) to grow a reader. So many things happen behind the scenes that nurture a reader — good conversations, reading together, sharing an excitement over books, a child watching, listening and participating in the literacy culture within the home and the classroom. And then it all comes together.

As beginning readers are doing their work, there are things we can do to help build confidence and fluency. You can read more about that here and here.

The right books for beginning readers are important. Some titles that worked well for us are here, and titles awarded the Geisel Award, an award given annually for beginning reader titles, can be found here (2011 winners (opens in a new window)) and here (past winners (opens in a new window)).

If you’ve got a beginning reader at your house, stop and savor the moment! Before you know it, they’ll be taking off like a rocket. A Reading Rocket, that is!

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
July 19, 2011