One of the most powerful tools in assessment is ‘observation’ and this is always a fascinating experience to me. I see so many things and behaviors that I would not observe otherwise.
Today I will talk about my observations of ‘reading behaviors’ in my Early Childhood class.
When I say reading behaviors I mean how children are interacting with print material. For example, how children are handling books, if they seem engaged in looking at the book, if they are laughing at a funny illustration, if they are demonstrating story reading behaviors by talking as if they were reading the words and many others. There are many behaviors, but my goal is not to bore you by talking about them but to show some of them through pictures.
This boy was having a great time reading one of Spot’s books. He likes humorous books and it is a delight to hear him laugh heartily at some of the illustrations.
These children had free reading time and they chose to read non-fiction books. They were extremely engaged looking at the pictures and talking about what they were learning with the books.
Those two girls were working together to read three letter words. They worked collaboratively without my help until they finished the task, which took a significant amount of time for this age.
This boy was in the library and he just sat with his legs crossed like a like a grown up man. I am almost certain that this reading behavior is modeled to him at home and he picked it up and is unconsciously mimicking it, which is fabulous. I had to add the out of focus picture because he was reading a book about Jet Airliners, not the typical choice of book for a 4 year old.
During DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read) when we all sit with a book and read this darling boy was having what I defined as a ‘sensory’ reading of the book. He looked at the book the right way up, upside down, front to back, then back to front, smelled the book, brought it close to touch his face and finally he opened the book looked at the page and just ‘listened’ to it, for a while. Isn’t it the most amazing thing?
I just love EC children!
Amelia Mello, M.Ed.