Dialogic Reading

I need to establish more “dialogic reading”, based on the recommendation of “Testing for Kindergarten” by karen Quinn. There are some videos on youtube and here is some information from sources I’ve gathered that I plan on implementing while reading together. Hope this post helps to improve the quality of reading outloud with your child.

Three steps of dialogic reading
1.Ask “what” questions. Point to an item in a book and say, “what’s this?” or “what’s this called?” Repeat what your child says. Let your child know his or her answer is correct by repeating it back, “Yes, that’s a snake.”

2.Expand what your child says. Keep the expansions short and simple. Make sure to build on your child’s phrases just a little so that your child is able to imitate what you’ve said. Add, “Yes, you’re right! That’s a truck, a yellow dump truck.” The conversation can continue, “What is that truck doing?” “Yes, it looks like he is dumping dirt into the hole.”v

3.Ask open-ended questions. After your child is comfortable answering “what” questions, begin asking “open-ended” questions. Open-ended questions require more thought to answer and encourage children to use their imaginations. Open-ended questions do not have right or wrong answers and send the message, “I want to know what you think.”

Other questions could be, “What else do you see?” “Tell me about.” and “What if.” and “I wonder how.” or “How did that happen?” or “What do you think?” If a child doesn’t know what to say about a picture, you may need to help by answering the question yourself, “I think he may be..” Parents should be sure to praise and encourage, and always follow his interests.

The fundamental reading technique in dialogic reading is the PEER sequence. This is a short interaction between a child and the adult. The adult:

Prompts the child to say something about the book,
Evaluates the child’s response,
Expands the child’s response by rephrasing and adding information to it, and
Repeats the prompt to make sure the child has learned from the expansion.
Imagine that the parent and the child are looking at the page of a book that has a picture of a fire engine on it. The parent says, “What is this?” (the prompt) while pointing to the fire truck. The child says, truck, and the parent follows with “That’s right (the evaluation); it’s a red fire truck (the expansion); can you say fire truck?” (the repetition).

Except for the first reading of a book to children, PEER sequences should occur on nearly every page. Sometimes you can read the written words on the page and then prompt the child to say something. For many books, you should do less and less reading of the written words in the book each time you read it. Leave more to the child.

How to prompt children
There are five types of prompts that are used in dialogic reading to begin PEER sequences. You can remember these prompts with the word CROWD.

Completion prompts
You leave a blank at the end of a sentence and get the child to fill it in. These are typically used in books with rhyme or books with repetitive phases. For example, you might say, “I think I’d be a glossy cat. A little plump but not too ____,” letting the child fill in the blank with the word fat. Completion prompts provide children with information about the structure of language that is critical to later reading.

Recall prompts
These are questions about what happened in a book a child has already read. Recall prompts work for nearly everything except alphabet books. For example, you might say, “Can you tell me what happened to the little blue engine in this story?” Recall prompts help children in understanding story plot and in describing sequences of events. Recall prompts can be used not only at the end of a book, but also at the beginning of a book when a child has been read that book before.

Open-ended prompts
These prompts focus on the pictures in books. They work best for books that have rich, detailed illustrations. For example, while looking at a page in a book that the child is familiar with, you might say, “Tell me what’s happening in this picture.” Open-ended prompts help children increase their expressive fluency and attend to detail.

Wh- prompts
These prompts usually begin with what, where, when, why, and how questions. Like open-ended prompts, wh- prompts focus on the pictures in books. For example, you might say, “What’s the name of this?” while pointing to an object in the book. Wh- questions teach children new vocabulary.

Distancing prompts
These ask children to relate the pictures or words in the book they are reading to experiences outside the book. For example, while looking at a book with a picture of animals on a farm, you might say something like, “Remember when we went to the animal park last week. Which of these animals did we see there?” Distancing prompts help children form a bridge between books and the real world, as well as helping with verbal fluency, conversational abilities, and narrative skills.

If you have time, read a book twice. The first time, just read the book as you normally would. The second time, ask questions while you are reading and let your child direct you through the book. Remember to praise and encourage your child as you explore the book together.


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