Extension: Scaffolding Young Children to Value Themselves as Readers
On this momentous day, Tobe took a tremendous step forward as a reader. Six months earlier, when we started working together, Tobe only read leveled readers, the little books that have a couple lines of text on each page. He was “glued to print” and addressed every unknown word in a left-to-right, sound-it-out fashion. While he was adept at using picture cues, he did not use a placeholder strategy or a “what makes sense” strategy or even a “skip it and come back to it” strategy. Reading was a chore he did because the adults in his life made him do it. When we started our times together, reading would have been his last choice of activities. At that time, he explained, “I’m not good at reading.” As our work progressed, Tobe read voluntarily for the first time in his life. I believe that through our weekly tutoring sessions, in which I scaffolded his use of meaning-making strategies and demonstrated reading as a pleasurable activity, he not only started acquiring the strategies that good readers use but also began to value himself as a reader.