The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.
I sat there with Sally. We sat there, we two.
And I said, “How I wish we had something to do!”
-from The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss –
Thirty-eight percent of all fourth graders in the United States can’t read this poem. (From U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, “Executive Summary,” of The 1998 National Assessment for Educational Progress Reading Report Card for the Nation, NCES 1999-500. Washington, D.C.: March 1999.)
Many of us spend time with kids, our own or someone else’s. How would you feel if someone told you that you could make a profound difference in a child’s ability to read by spending fifteen minutes a day playing games and reading books with him?
That’s what author and teacher, Peggy M. Wilbur, says. She’s been diagnosing and remediating elementary and middle school children’s reading disorders since 1987, and she’s got a fabulous Web site, Succeed to Read, loaded with information and ideas that we can all use during the time we spend with kids.
I was fascinated (and thrilled) to discover that rhyming is an important skill for kids to develop, that the ability to rhyme will help a child learn to read. I love to rhyme, and I do it all the time. See? I can be walking down the aisle in the grocery store and think to myself, “I need a bag of flour.” For kicks, my brain then responds, “I need it in an hour. Don’t take it in the shower. Find me a pink flower. I need a super power. You do not have to glower….” Does anyone else do this? I do it on my own in my head; I do it with Mike, taking turns back and forth to see who gets stumped first; and, yes, I do it with kids. I’ve never done it for the express purpose of helping a kid learn to read, though. It’s just fun! (Get some sun. Can you run? Eat that bun. I weigh a ton. I think I’m done.)
If you spend even a little time with kids, check out the Succeed to Read site for ways that you can help improve their reading skills.
Categories: Needle and ThREAD