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Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Make Time for Reading


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Make Time for Reading

Grades K – 2

International Literacy Association

Tip Topic Tips for Reading To or With Kids
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Why Use This Tip

Here's What To Do


Why Use This Tip

Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) time is simply a regular time that is dedicated to reading. One of the keys to DEAR time is choice: Children get to pick what books they will read and discuss with you. By talking about the books, asking questions, and sharing what you like about them you will encourage a love of reading that's sure to last long after DEAR time is over.

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Here's What To Do

  1. Establish a scheduled time and place for reading that works best for you and the child. Scheduling a specific daily DEAR time helps children know what to expect. Pick a comfortable spot where children can look for books – ideally, in open shelves, baskets, or bins – and then sit and read them. The more books you can provide, the more you can help children build literacy skills. Try to offer a mix of fiction and nonfiction books including new books and old favorites. Weekly trips to the library can help you offer a rotating selection.

  2. Allow the child to choose any book, even if it is one he or she has read multiple times. Multiple readings of the same book can be very beneficial because they help the child learn certain words and feel like a successful reader.

  3. Read the book together. The goal for reading and activities is about 20 to 30 minutes. However, you should only read as long as the child is interested. Younger children have more difficulty maintaining attention for this length of time.

  4. There are many different ways you can share the book together. For example:

    • Take a picture walk first. Look through the book and talk about the pictures. Point out any connections you see between the pictures and the child’s life. Talk about what the pictures tell you about the story and ask the child to make predictions.

    • Talk about the story while you are reading. Ask questions like “Why do you think that happened?” or “What do you think might happen next?”

    • Combine asking questions with making your own comments about the story. Start sentences with phrases like “I notice that…” or “I wonder what…” and encourage the child to do the same thing.

    • If there are parts of the book that are repeated or that you know the child can read, encourage him or her to read those parts with you.

    • If it seems like the child would rather just be read to, feel free to simply read the book without any interruptions.

    • If the child knows a book well enough to read it independently, ask him or her to read the book to you.

  5. After reading, help the child to further experience the book. This can include talk, drawing and writing, play, or music. For example, you might ask the child to retell you what happened in the story. Or you might have him or her write down what happened in the book or draw a favorite character. Some children like to dress up and act out the stories from books; you might act as some of the characters. Or you might make up a song about the book or sing a song that relates to the book. For example, if you read a book about a farm, you might sing the song “Old MacDonald” together, pointing to pictures of different animals in the books while you sing about them.

    Whatever you do, the most important thing to remember is that DEAR is about having fun and enjoying books together!

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