Monday, October 13, 2014

Choral Reading: An Important Skill!

Singing, doing finger plays, and reciting poetry are an important part of a preschooler’s day. These are more than just fun activities. They help prepare children to read in unison, an important way children learn sight vocabulary and fluency. Remember to note this with families and share this with them in your newsletters and conferences because singing together, in any language, helps children get a sense of the rhythm of how words and phrases slide together.

You can further develop this in your classrooms by having children chorally read the morning message or text from our free activities (see the samples and sign-up in the box to receive yours!).  I like children to have their own copies of the material, if possible. Have them point to the first word and walk around praising children for having their finger in the correct place. I usually give a signal and read along with the group to model fluency. I move from table to table to be sure children are pointing to each word as we read. The passages should be practiced over and over to help children get the cadence of the language and perhaps even learn a few sight words. They will certainly learn how to follow a line of text!

You can also have children read the morning message together by having one child use a pointer as the class reads. This allows children who may be nervous or unsure to speak in a lower voice. Gradually we want these children to feel confident and proud when reading chorally.

Our downloadable activity for this week focuses on pumpkins. For more on choral reading and child writing using their own pumpkin recipes, take a look at this fun-filled idea:

Standards Alignment:
Standard 4. Using Developmentally Effective Approaches 
Head Start:
Shows progress in recognizing the association between spoken and written words by following print as it is read aloud.
Begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Dr. Kathy’s Opinion Corner:
As I visit classrooms, I notice some teachers put on a video and let children sing and dance with it. While that expands children’s exposure to different songs, I also encourage teachers to remember the power of leading singing and even dancing on your own. This encourages an important personal connection between children and teachers. I know my former students still write to me remembering the joy of doing the “Tooty Ta” together!

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