Step 1: Dilemma

In Step 1 you will be introduced to dialogic reading practices through a practice dilemma. The dilemma is about a teacher who wants to maximize the benefits of storybook reading for the children in her class.

Meet Tenisha. She is a pre-K teacher in a public elementary school. She has noticed that some children are not paying attention during storybook reading. Tenisha also wants to see how she can better meet her children’s learning needs during storybook reading and wonders if there are specific approaches that she could be using for that purpose. Follow the instructions in Activity 6.1a and watch Video 6.1 to learn about Tenisha’s dilemma.

Video 6.1: The teacher’s viewpoint

Tenisha, a pre-K teacher, shares a dilemma about wanting to maximize the benefits of storybook reading for the children in her class. (running time: 1 min. 19 sec.)

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I have been an early childhood teacher for a little while now and I LOVE it—especially when the children get really excited about something we are doing! Most of the children like to talk to me and to each other about what we’re learning, and what is going on around them, but I have noticed that some of them just don’t seem to have enough words to express themselves. And it seems that everything I read about language, I am always reminded of how important it is and its connection to literacy. I’ve learned some things I can do to help children learn to read and to use language.  It has opened my eyes to another level of teaching which feels great.  But one of the challenges I still have is how to keep the children’s attention during storybook reading.  And when I am reading to my class or even a small group, they sometimes start to get restless.  I know reading aloud should not only be enjoyable, but also help them learn.  But I am not sure exactly how to go about doing that. How can I make sure all my children are involved in what I am reading and get excited about learning things from the story? What is the best way to do this and how can I be sure that I am doing it?