Motivating children to read is a task that every teacher has to take on at some point in their career. Typically, there is always a reluctance to read from young learners. Not so much from kindergarteners, but a common problem that arrises in kindy reading classes is that. Due to a myriad of causes that can divert their attention, their focus and enthusiasm can quickly dwindle. The activities discussed in this article maybe familiar to some, but otherwise will hopefully provide teachers with new ways to give their reading classes some intrinsic motivation, energy and focus.
1. Ants In The Pants
Read a passage from your book and ask the students to repeat. While reading, periodically shout "stand up" and "sit down". When you do so, you yourself should do the actions too so that instruction is further emphasised. You may also have the students stand for one line and then sit to read the next line and then stand up and so on. Teachers can surprise students with this activity anytime during a reading class, this is especially useful when the overall attention level has dropped.
2.The Sentence Train
Instruct the class to go over a sentence in a book and have them count how many words there are. Then, assign the numbers to students of your choice and see if they can figure out which word belongs to them. This part might be quite difficult for some students, so you can simply just tell them which word to say. Once they are familiar with what they need to say, you can practice saying the whole line in order. Of course, it is good practice to drill the sentence as a class again.
Kids love playing games. There is simply no way around it and because it is an integral part of how a children learn and makes sense of their environment. Games are golden for class engagement and a teachers class management.
3. Correct Me If I Am Wrong
Drill the sentence making sure that the students follow along with their fingers. Inform them that they need to raise their hands when they hear a different word than what is in their books. Try to replace vocabularies with ones that they are likely to be familiar with and choose a student to give you the word that is wrong and read to you which it should be.
At times, it can be a very positive thing to encourage competition. Creating an environment for constructive competition has extremely beneficial effects on children's learning and it can be of benefit to a teachers classroom control.
4. Read Race
Divided the class into two teams and ask one student from each team to come and stand in front of you. Then, select a page you have covered making sure they cannot see the page you choose. Quickly flip the book around and see which student can read the page with the most clarity and fluidity. The end of each turn is a good time to correct students with any pronunciation errors. This is another activity to incorporate constructive competition and a good one to have in your arsenal for when a class starts to lose focus and start to do talk or play around. This activity works best played half way or towards the end of a class when most of the reading book has been covered.
5. Spin The Marker
The procedure is to arrange your class in a circle and have the students repeat after you a few times until they are comfortable with what they have to read. Then, spin a marker on the floor and the student the marker points to has to read. In instances where children are self conscious about talking, you can achieve great results in groups. Sit them in small groups on the floor, spin the marker and whichever it points to has to read. This activity can serve as a wrap up activity to let students review what has been introduced. High energy wrap up activities like this add a nice contrast in reading classes which students appreciate.
Try these activities and experiment with them and see what works best for you as you may need to alter them to suit your students. Keeping your reading class well paced with the right activities will allow for a successful class and the students will eventually look forward to them if they don't already. Creating an environment where students want to participate is something that teachers should really strive for.