Friday, June 28, 2013

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers (Letter W): 6/26/13

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers (Letter W): 6/26/13

I had no idea how many kids to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised when I started with five and wound up with 12! One little boy was an exceptional handful, but even with his wild behavior and several distractions, this was one of  the best read-along story times I have ever done. I can only hope that this will continue through the summer! 
Name That Object
On the iPad, I showed the kids images of different words starting with W, all of which were labeled, and asked them to name them and talk about them a little bit. This is usually a pretty good ice breaker, and it worked even  better than usual at this story time. The "W" words we used were: wagon, wand, wolf, Washington monument, whale, wheel, washing machine, wheelbarrow, well, worm, and watermelon. At the end of the presentation, I showed them the four images we would mostly be dealing with - wolf, worm, watermelon, and wheels -  and I used these as the structure for  the activities that followed.

I read B.G. Hennessey's version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf which is relatively short, and also very funny. The kids really liked it, and I even got them to talk about the story a little bit, both as I was reading and afterward. 

Bag of Verbs
This was the most hectic round of "Bag of Verbs" we have ever played because a couple of the boys decided to just run around instead of following the bag's directions. In the end, I picked a few words out a time and we did the motions really quickly, before finally just sitting down and asking the kids to do the same. 

I found a poem called I Brought a Worm and told it to the kids as a rebus with puppets. This way, no one could read ahead of the group, and everyone could call out the words at the same time. I'd like to use this approach again a few times, perhaps not always with images, but sometimes with simpler words they might be able to recognize as well. This was the point in story time when the behavior was the worst, but some of the kids who were not misbehaving seemed to really enjoy it.

Literacy Game
I created a matching game shaped like a watermelon. The watermelon slice had white "seeds" on it, each printed with an easy-to-sound-out word, and then I had black "seeds" printed with the first letters of each of the words. I called out random words and asked kids to help me find them,  then gave a child the letter to place over the word. When it came time to clean up, I asked one child at a time to find me one letter and bring it to me. I also asked some bigger kids to help their younger siblings participate. This was probably my favorite part of the story time, and I hope to be able to create some more games like this to use with other letters.

Write and Draw Activity The Wheels on the ________Go 'Round and 'Round
I kept the write and draw activity simple because I didn't know how many kids to expect. This ended up being perfect for the broad age range, and I was pleased with the results. I probably could have made it a bit trickier, but I liked that it was so open-ended and let the kids be as creative as they wanted. I also introduced this last activity by reminding them of our list of four images from the beginning of the session and seeing if they could remember which one we hadn't used yet. (And they could!)

I'll be off next Wednesday, but I am already excited for my next read-along story time on July 10th!

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