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Developing Good Readers Part ll - Toddlers

As with infants*, enhancing toddlers' language development helps them to become readers.

When toddlers begin using words, the caregiver should expand on what tis said. "Me want" can be replied to with "You want this red ball?" or "Mama eat" can be answered with "Yes, momma's making dinner for everyone to eat".

You can help toddlers connect words to actions with instructive songs such as "This Is The Way We wash Our Face" or children's dance tunes like "The Hokey Pokey".

You can introduce toddlers to books by providing ones that contain colorful pictures of things that are familiar and relevant to them. Stiff board books will withstand a toddler's touch and last longer than one's with thin paper pages which are easily torn.

Developing Good Readers Part III - Preschoolers

Caregivers and educators of preschool children should be committed to providing activities that help children become readers. In pursuit of this, bear in mind that the single most important thing you can do to develop pre-school readers is to read to them frequently.

Books that have repetitive phrases, a few words per page, and topics that young children can relate to appeal to three-year-olds. Older children (4 and 5-year-olds) will like longer books with more complex stories.

Your goal is to help the children make the realization that what can be spoken, can be written and what can be written, can be read.

To establish an understanding in the child's mind between reading and writing, familiarize preschoolers with print. Label objects in the classroom and play games such as "restaurant" where menus can be created and used ("read"). Similarly, a game like "Let's Send A Letter" wherein the children take turns telling you what to write, establishes an understanding in the child's mind between reading and writing.

Critical Thinking and Reading Comprehension for Preschoolers

Bloom's Taxonomy (http://www.bloomstaxonomy.org/), a widely regarded educational theory for teaching critical thinking and reading comprehension, is something any one working with preschoolers can use to their (and the children's) advantage.

Bloom's taxonomy holds that knowledge, comprehension, application and analysis are the hallmarks of critical thought and reading comprehension. With this in mind, here's how fostering critical thought and reading comprehension plays out using Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare as an example.

After reading Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare, ask the children questions appropriate to their age and developmental level.

Knowledge - Ask questions that will let you determine the children's ability to recall the simple facts of the story. "Who won the race?" "What happened during the race?" "Who was fast and who was slow?"

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