Back in the day, when I taught pre-school; I was full of that new-teacher, bright eyed and bushy tailed, optimism. “Silly rabbits, tricks are for kids,” said the slightly scary rabbit that ate my favorite sugar cereal.
I was ready to take on the world, or at least the playground. WOW did I learn a lot during those precious years.
I found myself at the end of the day; covered in all matter of ‘stuff’ ranging from finger paint to left over mac and cheese and something I often couldn’t even identify. I would gather all the angels on the reading mat; place myself in front of my captive (ya-right…) audience and get ready to catapult their little imaginations into that special world created by a book. After all, I reasoned, if I’m tired at the end of the day, so are they.
My disillusioned imagination saw this group of tame and reverent children enraptured by my every word. Not a sound would be made except for the cadence of my voice. When the parents came to pick up their little monkeys they would be so impressed by the idyllic sight that would meet their eyes.
REALITY CHECK…if you have ever read to even one child, let alone multiple children, you already have an idea of what really happened. No need to elaborate.
Through experience and the many great teachers and parents who came to my rescue; I quickly learned some great tricks and ideas useful in sharing with children the love of books.
Tips for getting wiggle rumps engaged in reading:
- Let them pick out the book: If there is more than one child, pick two books and make a game out of the process of choosing. Whoever claps the loudest for a book gets to choose. The next time we read together, we will read the second book.
- Throw out the rulebook: Who says you have to start at the beginning and read to the end? Try starting at the end and have the children make up the rest of the story.
- My letter: This is great, especially for the young readers. Take the first initial of their first name and have them look for their ‘letter’ as you are reading.
- Be silly: If the character in the book is a fish, have the children mimic swimming or a fish face. If a character is running, have the kids get up and run in circle a few times. Create unique voices for each character.
- Read together: Ask them, “Who wants to be this character?” Have each child be a character. This works great when reading to different age groups.
“It’s a great day to be a Zebec!”