Laughing is a Sign of Learning

Did you know having a sense of humor helps children develop self-esteem, learn to problem solve, foster creative thinking, and hone social skills? This is according to author Louis Franzini, who wrote the book Kids Who Laugh: How to Develop Your Child’s Sense of Humor, in an article on Parents.com.

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The root of humor is taking something familiar and changing it in a unusual way. Typically, babies will start laughing around the age of 4 months. Up until this point, they are just beginning to learn how the world looks, feels, and sounds. As a child develops,  she learns to use humor as a way to build up self-esteem for a friend who may be feeling blue or for her own self if she makes a mistake. Laughter or a good sense of humor can help a person look at things in an unusual way.

So what are some ways you can encourage your child’s sense of humor? Read funny books, of course! Play with puppets! Make up stories! Sing silly songs together! Play dress up! Play Peek-a-Boo! Have fun with your food!

Here are some favorite laugh-out-loud picture books from our staff at the Stark County District Library.

  • Goldie Locks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
  • We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
  • The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
  • This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
  • Steve, Raised by Wolves by Jared Chapman
  • Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgans
  • John, Paul, George, and Ben by Lane Smith

Add to our list! Comment with your favorite laugh-out-loud books below!

 

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Reading Just 20 Minutes a Day…

Today’s post comes from a tidbit posted by Reading with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers. Children learn new vocabulary by being exposed to new words, exploring new worlds, and experiencing new ideas.

IMG_3643Let’s do the math: If you read with your child for 20 minutes a day, you will have read 7,300 minutes over the course of a year. Let’s assume an average rate of 200 words per minute. Your child will have heard 1,460,000 words by the end of the year.

Multiply that by 5 years (birth to kindergarten) and your little one will have heard 7,300,000 words before entering grade school.

These are words your child may never have heard in his or her own environment and were likely coupled with images, concepts, and creative ideas your little one may also not have encountered.

Simply stated, reading is the easiest, and most entertaining (in our opinion), way to prepare your child for school – and life.

Be sure to visit the Reading with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Facebook page for more great tips on reading with your child!

 

Let’s Play!

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Play is the work of the child.
~ Maria Montessori, educator

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning. ~ Fred Rogers, TV personality

Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.
~Diane Ackerman, author

It is a happy talent to know how to play. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer

If you search for “importance of play” on Google, you come up with 451,000,000 results. That is quite the number of pages to sift through and read. To make it easier, I’ve linked to a few of the videos, websites, and interesting graphics highlighting the importance of play from the adult/research perspective as well as the child’s perspective. Just click the links above.

Thirty Million Words

Remember this post from two years ago (almost to the day!)? Well, talking to your child is still a trending topic. Last week, NPR posted an article based on the book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind, MD.

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Read the article here. And check out Thirty Million Words the website here.

The Dyslexic Font…

If you’ve been reading the internet news lately, or looked at what’s trending on Facebook, you may have seen this poster by Daniel Britton, a dyslexic graphic designer:

Daniel Britton, 26, has created posters to raise awareness to dyslexia which simulate the experience of reading with the condition

The poster is intended to help people understand what it’s like to read when a person is dyslexic. Britton was diagnosed as dyslexic about seven years ago when he was 18 years old. He said the poster he created simulates the frustration he feels when he trying to read. It’s not what a dyslexic person sees on the page, only what he or she might feel.

Another textbook that came out a couple of years ago is designed to do the same thing.

According to one article, one in ten people is dyslexic and affects more than 700 million children and adults worldwide.

If you know someone who struggles with dyslexia, here is a tip sheet from Dyslexia International that helps answer some questions like how do teachers help struggling students, what can be done to help dyslexic readers, etc.

For more information, you can visit our website for books related to the subject.

Letting Your Child Choose…

Recently, I have been seeing articles about children’s attitude toward reading as they get older. As I think back to my own childhood, I remember loving books, going to the library, and spending time reading outside in the backyard. I also remember some of my classmates disdain for reading. I remember them saying it’s boring, it’s hard, it’s not fun, or they don’t have time. Much of what they said is echoed in this post from Reading is Fundamental.

Credit: Real Teacher of NY

Credit: Real Teacher of NY

Reuters recently posted an article that states a study that found when children choose books they want to read reading scores can improve. Researchers asked students in elementary grades to choose a books they wanted to read over the summer. The researchers also gave another group of students books to read but did not let them choose the titles. Based on a series of reading tests before and after summer break, the results showed students who had the opportunity to pick their own books had higher test scores than those who did not get to choose.

Students, especially those living in low-income neighborhoods, typically lose learning over the summer. This is what many educators call the “summer slide.” Researchers also noted, though, that it’s still important to provide preselected materials to readers in order to help them hone their reading and comprehension skills.

By offering your child choices, it gives him the freedom to find something within his own interests. If you are struggling to find something your child wants to read, here is a checklist of ideas from Scholastic:

  • Don’t pressure your child.
  • Make time to read and let your child see you reading for pleasure.
  • Try audiobooks. (Check out our awesome app HOOPLA for free audiobooks you can download to your smartphone or tablet.)
  • Read book reviews and find popular booklists, and then share them with your child.

Asking the “right” Questions Matters in Dialogues about Learning

Dialogue About Language, Literacy and Learning

Here’s an example/excerpt from

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why? By Maanvi Singh, Published Oct 24, 2014

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/10/24/357811146/curiosity-it-may-have-killed-the-cat-but-it-helps-us-learn

“How does a sunset work? We love to look at one, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her eighth-graders to really think about it, to wonder and question.

So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.

“I asked them: ‘So what’s moving? And why?’ ” Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas. Some thought the sun was moving; others, of course, knew that a sunset is the result of the Earth spinning around on its axis.”

Once she got the discussion going, the questions came rapid-fire. “My biggest challenge usually is trying to keep them patient,” she says. “They just have so many burning questions.”

…….

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Using Books…

One of the six early literacy skills we teach at the library is “using books.” The technical term is “print awareness,” which just means children are aware of how to read a book and the parts of a book. Today, we will focus on the outside of the book.parts_of_books

 

  • When you first pick up a book to read with your child, talk about the front cover and back cover. Ask prediction questions:
    • “What do you think this book is about?”
    • “Who do you think that little boy is?”
    • “What do you think that baby is doing?”
    • “Why is that dog doing that?”
  • Point out the title. Point to the letters in the title.
  • Show your child the author’s name. Describe what the author and illustrator do.
  • Use words like cover, illustrator, author, title, spine, etc. Let your child hear those words so he can become familiar with them.
  • Give your child the book, but hand it to them upside-down. See if they turn it the correct direction. Use your finger, or use your child’s finger, to point to the different objects, shapes, or letters on the cover.

Reading books together is important at an early age so your child can learn to appreciate the stories before they get to school. Knowing the parts of a book can help your child development a better appreciation for those books.

Fun Facts about Children’s Books

As I was searching the Internet for literacy information, I found this great little infographic with facts from children’s classics, the history of children’s books, and a little literacy information. While the graphic is a couple years old, it still has relevant information.

Raise a Reader…

Have you ever read the Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease? It’s a research-based book about the importance of reading aloud to your children with information on digital learning as well as proven techniques and strategies for reading aloud and making children lifelong readers and learners.

The statistics in the graphic below are based on the information in Trelease’s book.

 

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Credit: http://nancyann.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/raise-a-reader-infogram/