There is no more important activity for preparing a child to succeed as a reader than listening to their someone read to them. It’s no secret that reading books and other learning activities at home are an important supplement to the classroom, but there’s more to it than that. Source #1 I’m sure you’re all aware of the benefits of reading nightly to your child, but why? It’s because reading is the most effective way to build the “language” neural connections in your baby’s/toddler’s/young child’s growing brain as well as the strong base for his cognitive development. Source #2
How important is reading aloud? A study published in 2019 that involves MRI images of children’s brain shows that taking away screens and reading to kids younger than 5 boost brain development. The MRI images indicates an increase in organized white matter that is involved in developing language and ability to learn.
When should you start reading at least one book a day to your child? As early as infancy. An infant won’t understand everything you’re doing or why. But reading aloud to your baby teaches a baby about communication, introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way, builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills and gives babies information about the world around them. By the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your baby will hear and the better they’ll be able to talk. Source #3
At Sunrise Montessori, we’re in the business of helping our children learn how to read, so our Lead Teachers pick out a book each week to read every day to your children to help them build those neural connections. There are other books of course that your teachers read to your child. Several books are read each day to the class, but there is always one book in particular that each teacher wants to highlight that week to their students, whether that’s due to a special message (such as being new to school or how to resolve conflict), upcoming season or holiday, or because it captures several ideas they want to impart to their children in just a few minutes. I thought you would enjoy learning about YOUR teacher’s favorite book to read to their class, in order from our infant classrooms to our older Primary ones, so each one is listed below with their explanation for why it holds a special place in their heart. <3
Baby Faces by DK. The Doves love to see the faces of babies! And especially right now with so many faces covered in our lives, it’s really important.
My favorite book is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. This book really just reminds me to slow down and enjoy my kids. This book is why I want to be there for my kids as much as I can. I didn’t find this book until I had my daughter who is 16 now. After reading this book I decided I would stay home with her along as I could. Babies grow so fast in just their 1st year they go from sleeping all day to walk and understanding what we are saying to them. It’s amazing.
Llama Llama, Wakey Wake by Anna Dewdney. The Owlets can’t get enough of Llama Llama books! They love to listen to the simple rhymes and even start to repeat them by the end of the book.
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton. If you want your 1 year old (or for my classroom, 9 of them!) to go down for nap quickly and easily, then this is the book I recommend. The attention span of my class is not long yet this is by far their favorite book. It’s short and sweet and I usually read it to them right before nap time. =)
Petting Farm by Beth Bryan and Jill Ackerman. The children love to help me read by identifying the animals after I turn the page and also the sounds that each animal makes.
Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. A fun way to help the children learn about letters before moving up to a Primary classroom.
I have many, but one of my favorites is The Listening Walkby Paul Showers, illustrated by Aliki. This is a winner for both Primary and Pre-Primary classrooms! It describes a child and parent going for a leisurely walk with the family dog, an activity our students can relate to. As they walk, the girl notices all the particular sounds made by people, animals, machines, and nature. The children listening to the book love to imitate the sounds, such as the twick, twick, twickof the dog’s nails on the sidewalk. It is original, captivating, and has a subtle message about slowing down, observing, and enjoying the little things in life. 🙂
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? from Eric Carle. I base my favorite books on how the children react to them and this one lights up their face when I tell them we’re going to read it! They love to say out loud what they notice about the animals and “help” me read the story.
Blue Jays/Ms. Patty
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melonby Patty Lovell. This is a favorite of mine because it tells the story of a young girl who is true to herself, and embraces all of her differences. She is relatable and quirky. She is faced with a bully (Ronald Durkin) and never once alters herself to “fit in.” This story is also fantastic in that it presents the reader with many opportunities to have fun and be silly with the audience. It also has a repetitive sequence, which allows for the children to anticipate and participate in the story telling.
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony. This is one of my favorites to read to the Cardinals because it causes the children to ask questions and wonder why Mr. Panda is choosing not the share his doughnuts with the other animals. By the end of the book, their questions are answered. It is because the other animals didn’t ask politely. This book is a good conversation starter about how to use our words in a kind and respectful way to those around us.
Any of the Pete the Cat books by James Dean! He’s a cool cat with a positive attitude.
Purple Martins/Ms. Stefanie
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. The rhyming of this and all Dr. Seuss books instantly grabs the childrens’ attention. Any book that my class asks me to read over and over is always big in my book.
My new favorite book was gifted to our class by the Nay Family for Christmas.It’s calledThe RabbitListened. This book quickly became a favorite of mine due to it’s subject matter; grief, and helping someone deal with their emotions with compassion and kindness. As the story goes, a young child named Taylor experience a moment of sadness. Taylor’s animal friends approach one at a time to offer solutions on how to cope with big emotions. None of those suggestions are helpful for Taylor. Then, quiet little rabbit sits nearby and simply listens without judgment or advice. Taylor then feels comfortable going through a range of emotions and eventually comes up with a solution to the problem.
The Dr. Seuss books are wonderful for rhyming and helping the children “hear” letter sounds. Their fun and silly nature and the colorful pictures are a big hit as well.
My favorite book to read to John growing up was How I Became a Pirate by David Shannon. John went through a FOUR YEAR stage of wanting to dress up as a pirate, eat and talk like a pirate, bury and find treasure in our backyard like a pirate. He dressed as a pirate three Halloweens in a ROW. This was obviously his manuscript for life back then. I saved about a dozen books from those nightly reading years and plan to give them to him once he has a child of his own. But not for at least ten more years, please! (my son is about to turn 17 years old). 😉 I can’t wait to see him reading them to his own child. What a wonderful gift that will be.