Reading is an integral part of our day at school, just as it is in “the real world”. Reading takes place throughout the day in a variety of ways. We read signs, instructions, and books. I read to the children, children read to me, the children read to themselves, and they read to each other.
The children in our class read at varying levels. All the children have strong pre-reading skills such as: knowing how to turn the pages of a book, that words go from left to right, and that when you come to the end of the page, you go the next page. They can following a story line, recall details from a story, and “read” pictures in a book. All the children can recognize letters in the alphabet, know letter sounds, and all are reading words at varying levels of competence. Best of all, all the children in the class love books.
Of course, beyond this there is a wide range of reading ability in our classroom. As with everything, each child is on their own journey. Just as children learn to walk and talk at different times, children learn how to read at various ages.
There are a wide range of reading activities that are done during the day. Below is a description of a couple.
Most days begin with the children taking turns reading a poem. The poems are by well know poets as well as unknowns. There are silly poems and serious poems. Some rhyme, others don't. There are poems we need to think about to understand what the author was saying, while others just make us laugh. Last week's poem was:
Practicing reading in front of a group is another important skill to cultivate. Reading the poem is optional but everyone participates in being a "guest reader". This is a reading activity that the children practice at home so they can feel confident and prepared when they read to the class. This activity also requires the other children, who are the audience, to practice good listening skills. We just finished the first round of "guest readers" and will have another round before the end of the year.