Thursday, February 12, 2009

Playing with books

Each morning my students begin their day with books. It is not your typical sit down be quiet and read. It is what I am beginning to define as book play. Why? Well, you know, play is natural and enjoyable. Play is intrinsic. It focuses on process rather than product. Play takes kids beyond reality in non-literal behavior or make believe. Play allows freedom of choice and allows kids to practice decision making. Play is pleasurable and I want kids to feel the same about reading.

Here is what I am noticing:

During books in the morning, kids are accessing books they love and finding space to read. They are talking about, exchanging and sharing books.

Kids are reading together, side by side, exploring one text and learning to take turns.

They are creating their own reading spaces and pretending to sell books when a friend comes to borrow one from their basket.

They read a bit, move a bit, talk a bit and then read a bit again.

I took some pictures of the different ways I am noticing play with books in the morning. This half an hour (when I am checking in with kids in small groups or individually) has become one of their most favorite parts of the day. They are in charge of their time with books.

(yes...they are all hovering over a book...I think it is Where's Waldo)


Stella said...

what a perfect way to start the day, isn't it? it sets the tone not only for the day but also for the rest of the year. You and your students are saying, this reading time is important. It part of who we are and what we do. Great job!

Anonymous said...

LOVED the photos. My favorite-a magical kingdom/castle created by the little girl with her circle of books. Priceless moments...

Jen Robinson said...

LOVE the photo, Katie. I think it's great that you're helping kids to find reading pleasurable.