Vary exposure to good literature

Parents' Corner

March 12, 2000

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores how to develop reading fluency. Her column appears biweekly.

When we provide our children with a variety of quality experiences with good literature, they are able to become better thinkers while gaining fluency in reading and writing. We learn to write by writing. By writing, we learn.

Developing fluency in reading comes from:

Reading practice.

Making predictions.

Summarizing what was read.

Making inferences and using sound reasoning to formulate ideas.

Interpreting relationships and making connections.

Explaining or clarifying something read.

Developing vocabulary.

Developing fluency in writing comes from:

Writing practice, thinking aloud in conversation and on paper.

Experiences with a variety of excellent reading materials.

Experiences with writing tools.

Gaining confidence with word usage.

What can parents do?

Create a warm, trusting environment in your home.

Engage your child in meaningful conversations that matter to you both.

Make sure your child is reading and writing daily.

Encourage your child to keep a journal or a diary.

Be a good role model; read and write daily.

Ask your child questions about what was read/written: What do you think will happen next? How do you expect the problem will be solved?

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

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