Providing a Print-Rich Environment in your Home

Many times we hear of ways and means of making the classroom a print-rich environment. But did you know that you can also provide such an environment in your home? In doing so you automatically involve your children in reading. They begin to make meaningful connections between the printed word and the sounds they hear which ultimately contributes to their success in learning to read.

Creating a print-rich home means making sure that your children see and notice many of examples of print.  By making children aware of functional print,  like labels and directions, and environmental print, like signs and packaging, they begin to make the connection that letters serve a real purpose. (SOURCE)

Creating a print-rich environment is easy. Here are some ways to get started:

Label objects and items around your home

From the refrigerator to the door to the chair, any object in the home can be labelled. Make labels using paper or card stock (even an index card works) and a marker. Or if you prefer you can print the text out and paste onto construction paper. The font size should be clear and large enough to be read from anywhere in the room. Tape labels to objects and at eye level as much as is possible.  If you’d rather not put labels all around the house, then chose one room to label (maybe your child’s bedroom or the kitchen).

Words (almost) everywhere

Books and Other Things with words: Have books and other reading materials (such as magazines) in view and in close reach so that they are always available for browsing and/or reading. These books and magazines can be on a shelf or on table or anywhere that your child can see and access them easily. Maybe you have take-out menus hanging around somewhere. Put them out so children can read about foods.

Foods and Recipes: Read out loud the recipe that you are using to prepare dinner. Ask your child to find the ingredients that begin with a certain letter. Enlist your child’s help in making the grocery list. Let him/her help you find items on the shelf while shopping. Look at the name of items as you unpack and store away after grocery shopping.

magazines

Playing: Empty cereal boxes and other cartons in a pretend supermarket provide another way for children to play and interact with words. Provide lots of blank paper with crayons or pencils so that children can draw and write.

By having print, words and letters all over your home (starting when your child is an infant) you can build interest in reading, phonological awareness, letter knowledge without even trying. (SOURCE)

Charts or posters 

Like labels, informative charts or posters in the home can encourage children learn new words. These charts could be as simple as showing the alphabet to numerals or related a specific interest of you child such as vehicles, vegetables etc. calendars and maps are also items with text which you can post to a wall or bulletin board in your home.

One of the first things you should post is your child’s name within clear view. Point to and read aloud the name everyday. Indicate the first letter that your child’s name begins with.

Magnetic Letters on Refrigerator or White Board

Magnetic letters placed on the door of the refrigerator provides your child an opporunity to play with letters and form them into words.  

Note: All these tips can be applied to helping a child to learn to read and write Arabic or any language for that matter.

 

What are some ways that you make your home a print-rich environment? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

If you find the information above useful, you can share a link to it on Twitter and Facebook or even post a link to it on your blog.
If you would like to copy or use this information please credit the source as Ummah Reads with URL – http://muslimkidsbooks.wordpress.com/
Shukran (Thank you) for your support and cooperation.

 

 

Support literacy in the Muslim community – Be a Muslim champion!

I’ve been a member of the Islamic Writers’ Alliance (IWA) for about a year now and have found the support and resources of this group to be extremely valuable. The IWA networks members through its online group (or egroup).

I’ve come into contact with many talented and hard-working Muslims from around the globe: poets, writers, publishers, editors, journalists, newcomers to writing and those who love just love reading. I’ve learnt more about the world of publishing and writing than I had ever known before. What’s more I’m happy to work with Muslims who value and advocate literacy in the Muslim community. 

That is why I want to tell you about the IWA’s campaign, Be a Muslim Champion, because it is an opportunity to support a unique Muslim organisation that is working toward a worthy goal.

Here are some of the activities and accomplishments of the IWA:

  • Grants book awards to Muslim schools.
  • Conduct annual poetry and writing competitions.
  • Publishes a quarterly online magazine
  • Published two anthologies that feature the works of members

If your child is a student in an Islamic school, it’s possible he may have access to books in his/her school library through a school award given by the IWA. Maybe your teenage child or a friend or even you would like to enter a Muslim run writing/poetry competition, then you can with the IWA. Maybe you’ve read some of the Islamic stories or poems you liked in the IWA’s magazine and anthology. 

The IWA is a non-profit organisation based in the U.S. that would love to have your support. You can join the IWA and/or give a donation.

- To find out more about the IWA or how to become a member visit the website

- To make a donation and for more information on how to Be a Muslim Champion visit here

Give your support to a Muslim non-profit organization that works to benefit our Muslim children and teens!

Reading – Poem by a young Muslim poet

image via flickr by Chocolate Geek

Today I am happy to share with you a guest post by Fida Islaih, a young Muslim poet. I stumbled upon her poetry about a year or so ago. Fida has kindly consented to my request and composed a short poem on reading and what it means to her. Read more of her poetry at A Poet Named Fida.

Reading

© Fida Islaih

 

Reading is like traveling

seeing, being in different worlds

all imaginable

if you let your mind go.

 

Reading is like pictures

but looking the way you want;

 

Reading is like writing

Letting the world know what’s on your mind.

Developing the Good Habit of Reading

I’ve talked a lot about what you, as a parent, teacher, leader and caregiver, can do to encourage children to read. But I wanted to ask today, how many adults read on a daily basis? You might be saying ‘Yes, Of course I read everyday! I read the Quran!” But aside from the Quran what else do you read?

Photo by Yuriy Galoff (dreamstime)

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘bad habits die-hard,’ Well, I think it is fair to say that in contrast, good habits are many times quite difficult to develop. When it comes to making reading a good habit, it’s like exercising daily, many people find it difficult making it part of their everyday life. But reading everyday is a good habit we should all strive to develop. Without going into a long explanation I thought I’d just give you 12 quick ways you can start to develop a good habit of reading.

12 Ways to Develop the Reading Habit

  1. Keeping printed materials visible in your home will make it more likely for you to pick up a book and read.*
  2. Join the library in your neighbourhood; use your library card to borrow books, magazines, audio books etc.
  3. Download ebooks on your mobile phone, e-reader or laptop. It’s quick and there’s no waiting. Easy to read on your commute, while waiting or in bed.
  4. Subscribe to a magazine. There are as many magazines as there are hobbies/interests.
  5. Enter reading and writing competitions.
  6. Join a reading/book club or start your own.
  7. Cook a dish based on a book you’ve read recently.
  8. Read Aloud to someone or just to yourself.
  9. Buy books at garage sales, thrift stores and conferences.
  10. Play games that involve words e.g. Scrabble, Upwords or Boggle.
  11. Play a sport based on a story or watch a movie based on a book.
  12. Visit a bookstore to shop or just to browse.

 

* Bookshelves are great for storing books, but you can have books on coffee tables, bedside tables, kitchen counter and computer desk. And remember it’s not only books you can read but magazines, comics, etc.

What about you? How do you incorporate reading into your everyday life?