March is National Reading Month, and educators across the country will use this time to foster a love of the written word in their students. Preschool teachers know that reading skills start to form long before a child is able to look at a word and read it themselves. So even though your students can't read, you can still celebrate this exciting month with some special educational ideas.
Make it theme-tastic: Choose a theme for the month or each week and let it dictate what you read. For example, "Wild about reading" week will have a jungle theme, "Reading around the world" week will focus on books set in different countries, and "Reading is out of this world" will have a space theme.
Encourage classroom involvement: Think about ways to get kids involved and excited about the theme. Perhaps for the jungle theme they could each bring in one favorite stuffed animal to read with. Having kids wear colors on certain days can be fun, too, such as green when you plan to read "Green eggs and ham."
Sing songs: Preschoolers love to sing and dance, so why not take time each day in March to sing the ABCs and other educational tunes? You might even rotate having a different child come to the front of the class to lead the song each day.
Play reading-ready games: Conduct a letter hunt by going through the alphabet letter by letter and have students point out a location of that letter in the room or throughout the school. Another idea is a rhyming treasure hunt. List simple words and let students find rhyming matches. For example, you say sink, they point to something pink.
Noodle names: Recognizing and writing letters is a fundamental step toward reading readiness. Write each child's name on a piece of construction paper. Then get a variety of noodles and have them glue them on the lines of their names to form noodle name displays.
Mystery readers: To celebrate the month, invite volunteers to come and be mystery readers for story time. Parents, grandparents, older siblings and other special friends can volunteer to come in and read a story to the class. For days when no one is available, have the director or another teacher make a special visit.
Paint with water: Painting letters with water is lots of fun and so easy to clean up. If you can go outside, simply grab a few bowls of water and paintbrushes and let kids paint on sidewalks, asphalt or wooden fences. The water will turn these surfaces darker until it eventually evaporates. For inside play, you can do the same on green chalkboards.
Surprise calls: Will the teacher catch students red-handed with a book? Send a letter home noting that you'll be calling students on a few different days (specify a half-hour period so they know). If the teacher calls and you're reading, you get a special prize! Then stock up on erasers, stickers or paperback books to hand out as incentives.
Keep your place in your favorite book to read to your kiddos with these two bookmarks: Bookworm and New Adventures
March is National Reading Month, and educators across the country will use this time to foster a love of the written word in their students. Preschool teachers know that reading skills start to form long before a child is able to look at a word.