Friday, March 1, 2013

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 2/28/13

 Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 2/28/13

This week's session wasn't the best ever, but it wasn't that far off. There were  six kids in all - five in the target age range and one preschooler whose mother insisted she was a beginning reader. (She was a smart and fun kid, but she was out of her element, and I think her mom realized that quickly.) I changed up the order of events a little bit, so that our discussion was first, our read-along second, and our read-aloud  third, and I think I will try to stick with that structure for a bit and see how it works.

Welcome Message
 I feel like I'm getting into a rut with these messages. The information that changes each week is fine, but the way I open and close  the messages is starting to sound awkward. I think I might sit down and write several examples and then just draw from the pool each week so I'm not always trying to come up with them as I'm writing them.

Making a List
I cut a letter D out of a piece of poster board, and then asked the kids to help me think of D words. Most of the kids needed prompts and hints to come up with a real word, but one of the boys gave me a whole list of words ending with D, which was even more interesting than what I had in mind for this activity. The fact that we started with this activity also opened up opportunities to notice D sounds in other words throughout the story time.

I wrote a simple story about a girl detective whose cat steals her hat. One of the kids told me it was boring, but the other kids took their copies with them and I spied some of them re-reading them on their own out in the children's area. You can download a copy of this book for your use here.

I debated and debated over whether a Cam Jansen book would be too much for  this group, but I 'm glad I decided to go ahead and read Young Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game. They didn't have much to say about it, and we got interrupted twice - one boy had to use the bathroom, the other had a stomachache - but they seemed pretty engaged throughout the entire book. I'm still working on how to get them to actually talk about the book after we finish it. So far, the questions I have asked have not received any responses.

I wanted to use small paper plates to make magnifying glasses, but found that popsicle sticks would not attach to their rounded edges. My husband wound up using a razor blade and two different sized cans from our kitchen cabinet to make circles out of cardstock for me to use. I told the kids they could use these magnifying glasses to help them find things that start with each letter of the alphabet or even of their names. They spent very little time coloring and writing on them, but at least three of the kids actually went out into the library on a letter hunt. One of the kids stuck with it for a good long time, and kept stopping by the desk to ask me and my colleague various questions. I gave one to his two year old sister, as well, and she informed me that she could see ladybug footprints on the floor. The mom of the preschooler who came to story time also said she thought it would be a helpful tool for her in helping her daughter learn to read.

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.
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