I believe reading is making meaning.
I'm really good at reading my kids' facial expressions.
When Connor makes his lips tight and his eyebrows are furrowed I know that means he's about to make a dirty diaper. When Reagan raises her eyebrows and looks down I know she's scared. When Landon pokes his lips out and leans his head to the right I know that means he doesn't agree with the decision I just made.
When I read my kids' facial expressions, I'm making meaning.
Last month, because of sick children, I read a lot of thermometers.
When I read thermometers, I'm making meaning.
And the same is true of text. Magazines, books, billboards, menus. Reading is only really happening when we are creating meaning from it.
And Reagan totally gets that. She's got it nailed. Reading is making meaning. She reads aloud to her babydolls all day long every single day. She uses the pictures to construct meaning. Her stories make sense. She thinks aloud when something confuses her or amuses as she reads. She asks questions. She activates prior knowledge. She gets it! Reading is making meaning.
Now. The details? The fact that words are made of these little things called letters and those letters make sounds and all of that stuff? She could not care less. But she so gets the point. She gets that reading is making meaning. And that's the absolute best place to be!
Because that IS the point.