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A study examined parent decisions prior to and during reading aloud events with their first-grade children. Subjects were the parents of 342 first-graders in a suburban public elementary school district. Multiple methods of data collection were used, including surveys, diaries, interviews, videotapes, and stimulated recalls. Based on an analysis of survey data, 16 parents were selected to further participate in data collection. Some of the findings from the surveys included the following: almost all parents said they read aloud to their first graders; the mother was the parent who was by far the most likely to do the reading; the percentages of mothers who worked and read to their first graders were similar to those who were not employed outside the home; storybooks were overwhelmingly the most commonly used genre; and a switch from home libraries to public libraries as primary sources of materials was found. Analysis of the additional data sources, particularly the interviews, showed that patterns existed--parents who made similar decisions were grouped together in one of six categories. Parents in four of the categories (professionals, artists, journeymen, and laborers) regularly read to their children, while parents in the categories of craftsmen or novices did not regularly read to their first graders. Findings suggest that while the importance of routine reading events should not be minimized, decisions parents make regarding purposes, materials, and strategies will also highly influence the effectiveness of their reading aloud events. (RS)

Descriptors: Emergent Literacy, Grade 1, Parent Student Relationship, Primary Education, Reading Aloud to Others, Reading Materials, Reading Research, Reading Strategies, Young Children

Autor: Owens, Eileen Kane


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