Monday, January 4, 2010

Reading Activities

Like most of the rest of you, this new year has me thinking of things I want to do better. One thing I have been thinking about is that I want to really focus on finding time each day to spend teaching my children. I am hoping if I write about some of my efforts on this blog, it will motivate me to actually do it. Since today was the first day back to school, I took advantage of some time I had with my 3 year old daughter this morning. One of our favorite books is Mrs. Wishy-Washy by Joy Cowley. We read it with the baby this morning and then Paige and I decided we were going to act it out together. It is a very simple, repetitive story and the characters in addition to Mrs. Wishy-Washy are a cow, a pig, and a duck. The animals worked out perfect because we could make the animal noises. We spread two blankets on the floor because there is a mud puddle and a bathtub in the story. In the story, the animals get messy in the mud and Mrs. Wishy-Washy gives them baths. We read the story and acted it out together, then I read the story and Paige acted it out, then she told me she wanted to read it and tell me what to do. Of course she can't actually read it, but she pretended she was reading it and told the story back to me the way she remembered it. It was the perfect pre-reading activity. I was excited because before children begin to read, they pretend they are reading. For example, that story you have to read over and over again so that it makes you crazy! When your child can begin to repeat it verbatim, they are showing signs that they are getting ready to read. The next step is that you start pointing out words in the story that are there multiple times, something easy at first, like 'dog ' and have them look for that word and point to it everytime you read the story. Gradually, they will start to recognize that the words you are reading correspond to the words on the page, another baby step toward reading. Anyway, our Mrs. Wishy-Washy reading activity was a success. It took no real planning or supplies, only lasted 5 or so minutes, so it fit the needs of a 3 year old, and we had a great time. I just hope none of my neighbors were walking by looking in the window and wondering why we were jumping on blankets and making animal noises in our pajamas this morning!

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