NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- It turns out there are more ways to enjoy your summer books than reading straight through. Teachers in the Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center summer reading program have been leading more than 80 students in fun activities to pique their interest and ensure comprehension of the stories and information on the pages of the books they read.
They can look at the pictures and predict what will happen before reading the sentences. Teachers can cover up individual words and have the students guess what they are based on context clues. Young readers can even invent their own endings to stories.
Students can also continue these games at home. In addition to teaching the students, each teacher invited parents to come in for a workshop to show them the techniques. That way, the young readers can continue exploring new ways to have fun with books after the three-week program ends.
"The parents are always in awe at how many things kids can do with a book," said Judy Badillo, the program coordinator. "They're always surprised about how their child responds."
The workshop comes with packets, available in English and in Spanish, that consist of several children's books - both fiction and non-fiction - as well as a journal.
The activities teachers lead often leap off the pages. After reading about animals, for instance, students created masks of their favorite beasts or birds to wear in a parade throughout the school for other students taking summer classes to see.
The aim of the parent workshops is to see the learning and fun continue when the students are outside the school.
"We're hoping to keep them motivated throughout the summer," Badillo said.