Monday, March 18, 2013

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 3/14/13

 Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 3/14/13

I prepared this story time for this week with the regular attendees in mind, and then most of them didn't come. I changed the structure specifically to make it more fun and less academic, and to hopefully address some of the wiggles and giggles early on in the session so we could have the fun of reading without a lot of interruptions and discussions about poop. It worked fairly well, but it's hard to say how it would have gone if  the regular kids had been there. As it was, two of the regulars who ordinarily do not behave well tried their best to get the other kids to join them in yelling, purposely falling over, and generally wreaking havoc, but the other kids' parents were in the room so they actually did follow directions and participate.

Opening Song
I skipped the welcome message and went instead for a welcome song -  Raffi's "Let's Make Some Noise." I thought this would be a hugely raucous and fun time, but there were only four kids in the room, and three of them were shy newbies. So... they got musical instruments to play, but barely made a sound, and I had to cut out the verses on  the ukulele and instead give them motions to do so they wouldn't just be sitting there looking lost. This would have worked great with a larger group - maybe we'll try it again in a few weeks.

Matching Game 
This week's read-along was a poem I found called Ears Hear. Each line of the poem lists a different sound and who or what makes that sound. To make things more interactive, I created a poster showing images of the different noisy people, animals, and objects, then put all the sound words in a paper bag labeled "Bag of Noises." I pulled out one sound at a time, we made the sound all together, and then we matched the sound  to the object, animal, or person who makes it. The kids who were in  the room from the start were able to do it and seemed to enjoy it, but a group of Pre-K kids who came late was totally lost. I wish I had cut the poem short somehow - like last week's activity, it was too long to hold their attention. I think poetry is a good choice, though, and I have already turned another poem into a printable book for an upcoming session.

When we finished matching everything up, we read the poem all together once through. The kids couldn't remember any of the sound words that went with any of the animals or objects, so I basically wound up reading to them. Again, if the poem had been shorter - and perhaps if the read-along version had also included the pictures, it would have been more of an interactive experience. I'm still having such a hard time finding things that are engaging enough to keep their attention and easy enough for them to read.

I had Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements already checked out from another branch, so I decided to read that. I have no idea if the kids liked it - they were so quiet! This group does tend to get quiet and engrossed during the read-aloud portion, so I think silence is a good sign. I will say - this book is almost as difficult to read aloud as Fox in Socks! 

Goodbye Song
Since the poem took so long, I didn't have a craft or writing activity. To signal that story time was over, we sang Hats, Coats, Pants, and Shoes, which the kids loved.

This was a better story time than last week, so I think I'm headed in a good direction. Next week, I hope to use another easy reader printable on the theme of monsters.

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