I subbed in kinders this week. So much going on as everyone at school is working on activities for Open House/Art Fair and Grandparents’/Grandfriends’ Day. We had “rotations” and I worked with the children on making their rainforest animal headbands. They colored, cut and chatted. I listened, helped when needed and chatted. Nice to work with all the children and listen to their conversations. Kinders are getting big; more independent, more self-reliant, still filled with awe and wonderment. And asking questions or sharing their authoritative voice on what they really, really know!! It was a good day. In the afternoon after finishing the first part of their Mother’s Day gifts, they could choose to read books from the class library or from a bag donated with many Mo Willems books. They have been working on an author’s study on Mo Willems. One little girl choose to read Amanda & Her Alligator.
I was sitting at a table and she sat down next to me, showing me her book. She looked at the book, then at me and said it looked like it had lots of words she didn’t know. I thought of all the ways I could answer her unasked question, from “I think there are many words you might know already” to “I think there are words you can sound out” to “The picture clues might help you read some words,” but chose to say, “Would you like me to read it to you?” Her face lit up with delight and I started to read. In a few minutes she joined in reading the words she knew and recognizing the unfamiliar words I had just read. We read together and when she needed some help, I helped her and I would read until she was ready to continue. Her friend came over to see what we were doing and quickly let me know that she reads chapter books at home. I acknowledged that it was exciting to read chapter books and she was proud to be able to read them. She also said she could help my “reader” read the Amanda and Her Alligator book. I let her know that she could certainly sit with us while my “reader” and I finished reading our book together. This seemed ok for both girls as we continued reading. Every once in awhile I made a comment about the text when we all laughed at some of the antics portrayed by the alligator. We didn’t have a chance to finish the book, but both girls liked that a post-it note held their place for next time, when they could finished the book together.
And I, well I was so pleased that we shared a book together, reading without worry, without pressure, without a formal assessment, without a running record; just a joyful experience between two readers!
In your busy days do you have time to read with one child or a small group of students without a reading group focus? Do your students choose books that call to them whether level appropriate or not? How do you share these experiences with readers who so want to read different genres without regard to levels/abilities?