Time spent with a child who is developing into a reader can be magical. Many components go into reading beyond just knowing letters and sounds: eye muscle coordination as a child tracks left to right, learning the rules of a written language and comprehending what is read are all part of being a reader. However, sometimes the best way to become a reader is to have a little fun!
Last week, the Kindergartners heard two stories that generated much excitement amongst the class. The first, which they read 4 times in one week, was Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester. The students love this story because “Tacky is an odd bird” who doesn’t do things the right way. The humor, which had the class repeating excerpts from the story, resonates well with 5 and 6 year olds. The second book the class heard was The Mitten, by Jan Brett. This book provided fun as the students became one of the characters in the story, Baba, and stitched a white mitten. The Kindergartners were very engaged as they used their mitten to retell the story.
The mechanics of reading are important, but loving to read and becoming a lifelong reader are the ultimate goals. And we know that the best way to achieve these goals is to make sure learning to read includes having fun!