My mother-in-law is a retired literacy coach who was also a Reading Recovery teacher. While I have a master’s in literacy, I like to ask for her input when I’m unsure of something. She was a master teacher of both children and teachers and over the past eight and a half years has become a resource for me.
A couple mornings ago, I emailed her with this dilemma:
I think Isabelle has read Where’s Spot one too many times. This morning I walked into her bedroom and she was reading Peekaboo Baby. If you remember, that’s a book where you lift the flaps and it reveals the baby. Every time that she lifted a flap she said “nooooo! ” which is right for Spot. In fact, I’m out of her room right now and she still doing it. Should I continue to let her do it? (I said nothing so far. I figure I’m squelching her if I do.). Thoughts?
(BTW: If you don’t know Where’s Spot by Eric Hill, it’s a lift-the-flap book where the reader helps Sally, Spot’s mom, search for Spot. The reader looks under the bed, inside a grandfather clock, inside a baby grand piano in an effort to find Spot. When the flap is lifted there’s another animal, or sometimes two or three animals, that say “No!” Therefore, the reader has to keep turning the pages and lifting the flaps to find him.)
She wrote me back quickly with the following advice:
My feeling is you should leave it alone at this time. It is great that she knows to lift the flap and give an oral response. What I would probably do when you are reading other books with flaps and different pictures make a big deal of the pictures under the flaps. I bet in no time she will realize it herself. I agree with you that correcting her now might inhibit her from trying to approximate text in the books she knows so well. I am so excited that she is doing so well with her reading, but I am not surprised because of all your hard work immersing Izzy in books is the reason. That is just wonderful!
I took her suggestion by making a big deal when I lifted the flaps of Peekaboo Baby when I read it to her later in the day. When I lifted the first flap in the book I heard her say “Noooo!” Therefore, before I opened the next flap I said, “Yes!” and then I went right into “Peekaboo!” Isabelle looked at me quizzically, as if I were breaking up her fun. I did the same thing for the other two flaps and didn’t hear another “No!” out of her when I lifted the flaps.
Perhaps that was all it is going to take…