Preschool Activities for Reading Skills
- Learning to readlittle girl reading book image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com
Preschool students learn many beginning reading skills. The average student will finish his preschool year knowing the ABC's, recognizing letters in their names and identifying some initial sounds. Preschoolers also learn concepts of print like how to hold a book and become aware that words are read from left to right even if they cannot read them yet. Some kids will be able to read simple sight words. Teachers use many types of activities and games to help their students become proficient in early reading skills and be adequately prepared to enter kindergarten.
- Preschool teachers usually begin the day with whole group literacy instruction. Children sit on the floor in a circle and recite the alphabet, sing learning songs and listen to stories read by the teacher or played on a CD. This is also the best time to expose students to text. Teachers write sentences on chart paper, read them to the class, then call on students to circle certain letters and think of other words that begin with that letter. Kinderplans.com suggests whole group activities, such as choral and echo reading, that provide opportunities for all students to be actively engaged. The teacher reads a line or two of text, and the kids repeat what she says. This gives preschool students a chance to hear and imitate fluent reading.
- Teachers often work with preschool students in a small group setting. Teachers can group students by ability or by students' needs in specific skills like letter-naming or recognition. Groups are usually no bigger than five or six students. This is an ideal size for practicing rhyming words and introducing kids to pre-reading strategies like making predictions and previewing books by looking at the pictures.
Preschool teachers often use learning centers as part of the instructional routine several times a week. Students in small groups work together in various literacy centers for 15 or 20 minutes, then rotate to another center activity. Teachers place manipulatives like plastic letter tiles, magnetic letters or alphabet cards in these centers and observe students at work to assess their understanding.
- Teachers can use the Internet for activities to help students review reading skills. Starfall.com is an early childhood literacy site with interactive games that are easy for students to navigate. They can choose alphabet or word games, or they can choose a letter and watch an online tutorial on how to write it. Initial sound games have students click on objects that begin with the targeted sound. These games are effective learning tools for kids because they have animation and graphics that hold their attention. Teachers also find online activities helpful for struggling students.