First impressions matter, and unfortunately, many students' first encounters with reading are not the best. Teachers have to be creative to reintroduce these readers to the task and strike a different chord. Today, we're sharing some ideas that can be used to entice beginning readers and to reengage students who may have had a less than stellar first impression of literacy instruction.
Today's Top Stories
Remember, students gain confidence through independence, and they're most likely to engage with (and return to) activities they truly enjoy. So, start with your students' personal interests. Not sure what your students are into? Ask them! Get conversation flowing in ways that let your students feel like they're just 'hanging out.' Group students in trios and ask them to report on each other's interests. Practice interviewing and reporting skills as you learn what topics are hot amongst your students.
Like high intensity interval training, tough things can be easier to take in small doses. Assign students a 20 minute listening project each night by curating the downloadable Excel version of the Tales2go library. Want to be sure your students were really listening? Follow up each morning with comprehension questions. Or assign a longer title, split into smaller segments over the course of the week and host a game show style comprehension quiz at the end of the week. Engage everyone by playing a version of Family Feud - ask for volunteers to be contestants and collect survey answers from the rest of the class.
Make it Multi-Sensory
Younger students especially can benefit from listening activities that engage their hands while they build their vocabulary and fluency. Fall is the perfect time to play to students' olfactory senses. Scented play dough can keep fingers busy and also be used for forming letters or doing math.
For those of you who are allowed to do some cooking in your classrooms, bring in a crock pot and make a batch of applesauce! It's apple picking season, so encourage families to take a trip and bring some apples back for the classroom. Travel time to and from the orchard is a great for listening to some apple themed stories.