Friday, May 3, 2013

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 5/2/13

 Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 5/2/13

Name That Job
I showed the kids a series of hats on the iPad and asked them to name who wears that hat, and what that person does. The kids knew instantly that a chef "cooks things" but they had trouble explaining the work of firefighters. I was told that police officers "put people in jail" and that astronauts "go up into space." They thought a jester hat would be perfect for a clown, and they had no idea what to make of a surgeon's cap. I love opening story time with this kind of exercise because it breaks the ice, it encourages the kids to tell stories and describe what they know, and because the kids always learn something new!

We read LMNO Peas by Keith Baker. I didn't know if  this age group would think an alphabet book was too juvenile, but they really enjoyed it. Sometimes I just read a page straight through. Other times, I stopped to ask the kids what a miner does, or what an acrobat does. They were really  engaged and had lots of great responses to all the information in the text. I would definitely use another alphabet book with this group!

Making a List: What is Green?
We talked about the fact that peas are green, then made a great list of other green things. We were slow to get started, but the youngest boy in the group piped up with "alligator" and then they all got rolling, even the two quietest kids in the room, who were new to this story time.  At the end, our list looked like this:

Though I sometimes forget, I did remember to read the list back to them this time.

Bag of Verbs
I brought out the bag of words again, and the two boys who have been to this story time before got really excited. This segment of the story time can sometimes get a little wild, but they all love to take their turn reaching into the bag, so that usually gets them to focus between motions. I am going to take another look at the words in this bag and try to add some more after a couple more weeks.

We read a poem from Highlights High Five Magazine called Peas, Peas, Peas. I first played the audio version from the Highlights website, then we read the poem aloud together. This part of the story time is still a work in progress, as we used to attract readers and now we are attracting mostly pre-readers. I did notice the one little girl in the room trying to repeat each line after me. That might be how I handle this section next week.

Writing Activity: My Pea
In Publisher, I created this simple activity where the kids could design a pea and tell us something about it. One boy made a ghost doctor pea, another made an entire family of peas, with all kinds of little pea babies, and the two kids who were siblings (possibly twins?) both made theirs into rainbows. Another boy gave his long pink hair, and drew a table for it to sit at and eat corn.

Click the image to download your own copy of my pea printable!

This was a great story time - one of the best for this age group ever! I am really pleased with the structure of the program now, and I think it can easily be adapted to suit the level of  the kids in attendance. This was  a young group - one preschooler and four Pre-K kids, and they did fine with it, but I can imagine kids who could read would have gotten just as much out of it, just on a different level. I'm looking forward to doing more of this story times between now and the end of school, and hopefully continuing into the summer!

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