I have been known to spend my lunch money on preschool books. It’s because I have so much fun reading books to preschool classes. Please tell me you do too. I have witnessed kids that were running amuck actually come join the circle to hear the story I am reading and look at the pictures. I highly recommend reading to a class when there is a void of activities and still time before the next thing. My favorite way to read together is for all of us to lay on our bellies and prop up our heads with bent elbows and chin on fist.
I always enjoy reading the books with feeling by using different inflections in my voice. I try not to ask questions because I always get lots of answers that distract us away from the story. Be sure to have book shelves with great books in the preschool classroom. Avoid the highly commercialized characters. Focus on fun stories especially when they support the biblical truth you are teaching that day. Today you should stop and read a book with a child, go buy a book or make a plan to improve the books center in your classroom. Here are some tips:
By Pat Murphy
Why are books important? Books open the world for children through pictures, stories, and shapes.
What type of books should be included in a classroom? Books come in different shapes, sizes, textures, and topics. The type of books should relate to the session focus, not fantasy characters.
How many books do I provide? The number of books depends upon the size of the classroom and the number of children expected. One or two books in each learning center is adequate if they relate to the area and the session focus.
A Bible, preferably a children’s Bible such as the HCSB Read to Me, should be present in multiple learning centers. A child learns to value the Bible as he has an opportunity to open it, turn the pages, look at the pictures, and hear a teacher share the Bible content with him.
Books open the world of imagination and reality for boys and girls of all ages. Books aid in the cognitive development of a child’s mind. A variety of books such as Bibles, picture books, poetry books, board books, magazines, catalogs, cookbooks, and home-made books are enticing and encourage children to touch and explore. Placement and the number of books within the classroom require careful thought. Many classrooms have books on the floor nestled in a basket or small wading pool, on a bookshelf, on a table, or on a shelf in a corner. Books can be integrated into all activities with preschoolers, however limiting the selection of books using these guidelines can be helpful:
- Choose those publications that support the biblical truth focused on that week.
- Avoid fantasy books that do not relate or support the session focus.
- Include several Bibles the children can hold, turn the pages, and provide an opportunity to hear the Bible truth for the session.
- Change out books frequently.
- Keep the book selection fresh with relevant choices for the biblical focus.
- Discard books that are tattered and torn.
- Books need to be safe and durable for little hands to hold and explore.
- Classroom books can include those that are made by the teachers and the children.
- Choose books that include rough, smooth, shiny, and texture to stimulate the senses as children explore and “read” books.
- Book corners are great, but providing books in all of the learning centers opens up the imagination and encourages children to “read” and appreciate books that relate to the center where the book is found.
In addition, teachers can add to the enjoyment and discovery of the wonderful world of books as he or she reads with the child, encouraging the child to re-tell the story, or change it depending upon the pictures within the book. Cookbooks are wonderful additions to the home-living area as the pictures are great conversation starters that lead to opportunities to tell the story for the session focus. Photographs can be made into a book which will encourage the child to recognize children’s names and teacher names along with favorite activities. These are great for taking along on home-visits.
Check out this week’s great ideas!