Fingerplays and Rhymes
One of the best ways to help students learn to read is to repeat finger plays, rhymes and songs with them. When I worked at head start I would post the words to poems and finger plays written up on giant chart paper all over the lunchroom so we could practice them while we were waiting for food to be served. The best part was it didn’t matter who was in the room we could all join in, parent volunteers, cooks, bus drivers, all the staff, not just the teachers.
Pre-schoolers who were starting to read would see the words over and over to their favorite rhymes and start to develop an awareness for basic words and reading. If I had classroom space I would do this in k-2 as well, but we really only had room for about one in the upper grades. I can’t emphasize the importance of repeated reading, reading rhymes and reading easy text for struggling readers.
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Older students do well with lyrics. Struggling readers need to read things that are easy and have rhyming words that flow easily at the end of the sentence. When building fluency there’s nothing like singing a song for fun repeated reading! As students reread familiar texts it gets easier and easier.
Practice • Practice • Practice!
And of course the math that students pick up learning rhythm and beats is about as authentic as it gets!
But what’s more fun to practice then a song?
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