Friday, April 5, 2013

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 4/4/13

 Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 4/4/13

I was on vacation last week and did not do this story time, but heard from my colleague who filled in that there were a lot of kids in attendance who don't normally come (which makes sense during Spring Break). With that in mind, I decided to ease up on myself a little bit and plan something very simple. I like this structure more than the usual chaos, but I did also find myself wishing that this group of ten boys and one girl was a bit more vocal and a little more willing to be silly. I'm still seeking that happy medium! Still, this one felt like a success, and I would use the same structure again in the future.

Opening Song
I debated about whether to do an opening song, and finally decided it might be wise to get the kids' wiggles out. I sang It's Story Time (based on "Warm Up Time" from Action Songs for Preschoolers) and asked the kids for suggested motions. One boy - who is a regular - suggested jumping jacks then tried to tell me I was doing them incorrectly. The parents in the room got big laughs out of  that. The song itself was a flop and we ended it quickly. This was not a wiggly group, and the song did not  break the ice as I had hoped.

Making an Alphabet List 
I told the kids our story time was about games this week and asked them to name other things that start with G. Answers included grapes, gum, ghost, and gray.

This was less of a read-aloud and more of a cooperative discussion, because The Boys by Jeff Newman is a wordless picture book. This worked fairly well with just one or two kids actively participating. I imagine it would have been much better if the regular loudmouths had been here, and it might have channeled their wild energies into something positive. In any case, I may take this book with me to my next Pre-K visit, because I think it does work well in story time.

Making a List 
We made a second list - this time of games you can play inside and games you can play outside. Inside games included cards, puzzles, and airplanes. Outdoor games were rubgy, golf, baseball, basketball, and hide-and-seek. 

This week's read-along was a poem I found in Ladybug magazine - "Hide-and-Seek" by Susan Weiss, from the   The library I work in does not subscribe to Ladybug in full text, but the library where I live does, so I logged in there and printed out enough copies of the poem for every child to have one. I also wrote the words up on the whiteboard, but in retrospect I'm not sure why, because no one looked at them. We read the poem twice, which traditionally we don't do, and the kids seemed to like it, though they were very quiet. 

Writing Activity
I devised my own write and draw activity to suit the games theme. (Click the image to download a copy.)

I showed the kids the handout ahead of time and explained that the second line was for a game they liked to play, and the last line was for someone they liked to play with. Kids wrote about games like "ambulance" and "teepees" as well as baseball and golf.

This was a nice, calm session that would have worked slightly better with older and more vocal kids. Still, it was well-attended, everyone seemed to have fun, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of next week!

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