How to reread your kids' favorite books to teach them new skills

Do you ever find that you’re reading the same book over and over to your kids and you’re bored of them, or you want to teach new reading skills and you can’t because they won’t try a new book?

Teachers do this all the time. They reread the familiar books to kids or get them to reread their books multiple times for more reasons than just to read the words.

Let me explain with an example. When I taught third grade, our whole team would get together and pick out 10 favorite books that we could read 3 times in the same week.

Why you might ask?

So we could dive deeper into the content of the book and ask comprehension and interaction questions.

Questions started out basic such as "What did the character do?" and then got more elaborate such as "Why did the character do __ ?" or "How did the character change from the beginning of the book and what might happen next with the character if the book had more pages to it?"

These kinds of questions get kids to think deeper. And this kind of thing even happens with our little ones that are just starting to read.

Even with those early reader books there are MANY skills that can come out of one short small book!

These short personalized books are a favorite.

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Let's take this sample. Have you seen those 2-3 word sentence books that sound like the following:

Here is Bob.

Bob runs.

Bob runs here.

Bob runs there.

Bob runs up.

Bob runs down.

Bob runs home.

Guess what!? A question the teacher might ask is not what spells run, but more like "Tell me where did Bob run?"

And you would expect the child to say home? But that’s only part of the answer.

The real answer is that Bob runs in many places. But how does your child know that’s the answer? Definitely through conversations of what they’re reading.

That’s why it’s important to talk about what is being read, not just the words. And this often happens better when a child is comfortable with the book and ready to pay attention to new things.

Think of it like watching a favorite movie.

You notice new things the second or third time around that may make good conversation starters with your friends. This works for kids too, but if you want them to become better readers there are more skills than just decoding.

Reading comprehension is such a struggle for many kids. Like did you know that by third grade it’s not just about learning to read anymore. Instead, it’s about reading to learn.

Think about that.... Read that again.

By third grade it is more about READING to LEARN.

This means kids should already be able to decode and have to do much more deeper interaction of cognitive thinking in what they are reading.