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What you should and shouldn't do when reading aloud in your classroom
Reading aloud to young children is a significant factor in their academic and cognitive development. It is never too young to begin reading to your students, therefore, here are a couple dos and don'ts for reading aloud in your classroom:
What you should do:
Remember that mood and environment are important. If you are too busy making sure the children sit up straight or listen intently, you may be squashing their desire to listen. While you can encourage them to listen carefully, do so by treating reading as a treat and something to look forward to. Create a dedicated "reading space" in the classroom and play a special song before reading time to get children excited.
Remember to be engaged in what you are reading, which could mean anything from using funny voices to dressing up like the main character. Bringing props that relate to the subject matter also helps children get excited to learn and connect more with the story's message.
What you should NOT do:
Don't choose a book without carefully vetting it beforehand. A poor choice could mean that the book is too confusing, too long, not relevant enough to their learning, too advanced, inappropriate or simply boring. Remember that if you are uninterested or uncomfortable with the book, your students will notice.
Don't force every selection to tie directly into the current or an overarching lesson. Reading doesn't always have to be for intellectual gain. The pure enjoyment of reading may even encourage your students to want to read for pleasure when they grow up. Strike a balance between books with a meaningful moral and books that make your students laugh and smile.
At ProSolutions Training, we offer online child care courses, such as "Reading to Young Children," for interested early childhood education professionals. Contact us today to learn more.