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What reading experts say:
The National Reading Panel states that reading comprehension is the "essence of reading." Comprehension is critically important in the development of children's reading skills and therefore the ability to obtain an education.

Initially, children understand only the literal meaning of what is read to them. Higher thinking skills and more complex comprehension develop and grow the more children are read to. Discuss what is going on in the stories you read aloud. Talk about abstract ideas such as feelings; make predictions and inferences.

As you read a new book:
  • Read the title, look at the cover illustration and ask your child to predict what the book is all about.
  • Read the first page or two and ask what might happen next.
  • When you have read half or more of the book, ask your child how he thinks the story will end.
What good readers know:
Good readers do more than just figure out letters and words. They think about the meaning of what they read. Good readers talk to themselves while they are reading and ask questions when they are confused about what is happening in a book. They make predictions about the story based on the cover and are interested in discussing the story and characters.

What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Week 1:
Use the calendar as a number line for simple addition problems. For example, start with March 10. Ask your child, "What date is two days more than March 10?" Count the days. Write the addition problem: 10+2= 12
Week 2:
Read five books from the "Counting" book list.
Week 3:
Go to the Library and check out something new you've never tried before such as a magazine, a Read-Along, an Early Literacy Kit or a Discovery Tablet.
Week 4:
Cover each day of this month with a penny. Count the total number of pennies. Arrange them into groups of five. Then groups of ten. Explain that 5 pennies= 1 nickel and that 1- pennies= 1 dime.

Activities - Counting:
  1. Recite to your child the classic nursery rhyme with numbers such as “Five in the Bed” or “Five Little Monkeys swinging from the Tree.” As you say each line, hold up one of your child’s fingers and say a number in sequence from 1 to 5.
  2. Allow your child to play with containers during bath time. Fill containers and dump them out. Use the words full or empty to describe what is happening.
  3. Food is always a fun math experience. Allow your child to explore, examine and count their snacks. Use colorful items such as cereal, peppers or fruit to make a pattern with colors. Talk about what patterns are and different combinations of patterns. Practice making patterns with your child using these colorful objects.

More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)