Cover image for Starting out right : a guide to promoting children's reading success
Starting out right : a guide to promoting children's reading success
Burns, M. Susan (Marie Susan)
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : National Academy Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
viii, 182 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Introduction -- Growing up to read : birth through age four -- Becoming real readers : kindergarten through grade three -- Preventing reading difficulties.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1139.5.R43 S83 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A devastatingly large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need for success in life. With literacy problems plaguing as many as four in ten children in America, this book discusses how best to help children succeed in reading. This book identifies the most important questions and explores the authoritative answers on the topic of how children can grow into readers, including:
What are the key elements all children need in order to become good readers?
What can parents and caregivers provide "all" children so that they are prepared for reading instruction by the time that they get to school?
What concepts about language and literacy should be included in beginning reading instruction?
How can we prevent reading difficulties starting with infants and into the early grades?
What to ask school boards, principals, elected officials, and other policy makers who make decisions regarding early reading instruction.
You'll find out how to help youngsters build word recognition, avoid comprehension problems, and more--with checklists of specific accomplishments to be expected at different ages: for very young children, for kindergarten students, and for first, second, and third grade students. Included are 55 activities to do with children to help them become successful readers, a list of recommended children's books, and a guide to CD-ROMs and websites.
Great strides have been made recently toward identifying the best ways to teach children to read. Starting Out Right provides a wealth of knowledge based on a summary of extensive research. It is a "must read" for specialists in primary education as well as parents, pediatricians, child care providers, tutors, literacy advocates, policy makers, and teachers.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This helpful resource book for parents and educators stresses the importance of establishing strong reading skills in early childhood. Editors M. Susan Burns, Peg Griffin and Catherine E. Snow present a thorough guide to building a strong framework for reading, beginning in infancy and continuing through grade three. In each section, the authors offer practical, hands-on activities to share with children that will ignite interest in reading and build skills. Along with the development of specific reading skills, such as phonological and phonemic awareness, the editors explain how new experiences help expand a child's vocabulary. In addition to recommending children's reading activities at home (such as compiling grocery lists, singing songs, telling stories and, of course, reading), the book describes goals that should be reached at various ages (a kindergartner, for instance, should notice when simple sentences don't make sense). In the final section, the editors reveal that most reading problems can be avoided or resolved in the early years and emphasize the importance of a reader-friendly home, day-care and school environment. Parents will find this a comprehensive resource, and it will be especially useful for teachers planning literacy-enhancing classroom activities. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

What are the circumstances that promote children's reading success? What are the key aspects of language and literacy activities that should be included in beginning reading instruction? What goals must be accomplished during kindergarten through third grade for children to become "real" readers? Who are the children who experience reading difficulties, and how can these difficulties be prevented? The aforementioned and other questions are answered in this volume; furthermore, recommendations are presented from some of America's leading researchers on how children can be helped to become successful readers. Specifically, Starting Out Right is a practical guide, enhanced with many ideas, suggestions, and examples, to assist primary educators, pediatricians, child care providers, tutors, literacy advocates, and parents. Because the world is increasingly based on technology and competition in the workplace, the individuals mentioned above are responsible for today's children. Children, therefore, must be afforded the opportunity to achieve the best literacy education possible--it is imperative to "start out right." Recommended for general readers, upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. V. K. Lester; Tuskegee University

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vi
Introductionp. 1
Guide to This Bookp. 2
Promoting Children's Reading Successp. 5
Circumstances That Promote Readingp. 8
Growing Up to Readp. 15
Birth Through Age Four
Key Aspects of Language and Literacy, Activities for Very Young Childrenp. 19
Extended Vocabulary and Language Development
Phonological Awareness
Speech Discrimination
Knowledge of Narrative
Book and Print Awareness
Functions of Print
Print Concepts
Letter and Early Word Recognition
Literacy as a Source of Enjoyment
Literacy--from Parent to Childp. 42
Talking to a Baby: Day Care Environmentsp. 43
High-Quality Preschoolp. 44
Language and Literacy Activities in Preschoolp. 46
Phonological Awareness
Sociodramatic Play
Oral Language
Shared Reading
Exposure to Books
Computer-Based Literacy
Accomplishments of the Very Young Childp. 58
Early Childhood Educatorsp. 58
Becoming Real Readersp. 61
Kindergarten Through Grade Three
Individual Childrenp. 61
The Kindergarten Challengep. 65
What Must Be Accomplished--Goals of Kindergartenp. 65
Activities and Practices for Kindergartnersp. 66
Book and Print Awareness
Phonological Awareness
Language, Comprehension, and Response to Text Letter Recognition, Decoding, and Word Recognition
Spelling and Writing
Accomplishments of the Kindergarten Studentp. 84
First Grade: An Important Yearp. 86
Features of Successp. 88
Activities and Practices for First Grade Classroomsp. 90
Continuing Phonemic Awareness, Letter Knowledge, and Book and Print Awareness
Decoding, Word Recognition, and Oral Reading
Language, Comprehension, and Response to Text
Spelling and Writing
Accomplishments of the First Grade Studentp. 106
Directions for Second and Third Gradesp. 108
Strategies for Comprehension and Fluency
Words and Knowledge
Comprehension Techniques
What Happens in Second Gradep. 113
Decoding, Word Recognition, and Oral Reading
Language, Comprehension, and Response to Text
Spelling and Writing
What Happens in Third Gradep. 115
Decoding, Word Recognition, and Oral Reading
Language, Comprehension, and Response to Text
Spelling and Writing
Accomplishments of the Second and Third Grade Studentp. 117
Computers in Classrooms and at Homep. 120
Excellence in Primary Grade Teaching--A Career-Long Processp. 122
Preventing Reading Difficultiesp. 127
Who Are the Children Who Have Reading Difficultiesp. 130
Children Who Attend a Chronically Low-Achieving School
Children with Low English Proficiency
Children Unfamiliar with Standard English Dialect
Children Living in Communities in Poverty
What Can We Do Before Children Reach School?p. 134
Health Care Professionals and Reading
Screening by Early Childhood Professionals
Children Whose Parents Have a History of Reading Difficulty
Developmental Interventions for the Youngest Childrenp. 137
Reaching Out to Children's Homes
Summaryp. 139
Help in the Early Gradesp. 140
The Need for Reading Specialistsp. 140
The Community Is Neededp. 140
Volunteer Tutoringp. 142
Conclusionp. 145
Glossaryp. 147
For More Informationp. 153
Internet Resourcesp. 165
Acknowledgmentsp. 169
Creditsp. 171
Indexp. 173