Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bringing Reading Home - Helping Children Choose Books

Libraries full of books are a site to behold, but can also be overwhelming to young children and caregivers.  So many books - how can we choose?

The librarian at the Capuano, Laura Peura, devised some strategies for helping children successfully choose books at school and families can use a version of these when they visit their local public libraries or school libraries. She and her aids, Emily and Lois, found that going to the shelves full of books resulted in lots of books on the floor and not many in hands.  Putting some books on tables helped children to see the covers, open books easily, and make a choice of what they wanted to check out.  Less is more.
Capuano students choose books from the table and then check them out.
Tips for helping children connect with books - at home and at school:
  • Teach book choosing - from how to take a book off the shelf, to how to turn pages, to replacing a book on the shelf.  Don't assume the child knows how to do this. Teach and model it in classrooms and at home.
  • Provide limited choice - model browsing the shelves, choose books, and take them to a table or corner of the library or your home.  Help them choose, then read! In the classroom books can be displayed on stands throughout the classroom in different areas - blocks, dramatic play, etc.
  • Visit the library without your child - bring the library to them.  Choose 5-8 books you think your child will like, fiction and non-fiction. Make a special place for them - a basket or box.
  • Utilize your school libraries - at the Capuano parents can visit starting at 8:15 before or after drop off, or after school until 3:15. Check with your school to find out when you can check out books.
And, check out this link to the Somerville Public School library sites:

Have a great week and pick out some books!