Reading with Expression!
Claudia, the teacher of a class, of 3-year-olds, chooses a book with predictable elements to read to her group. She knows that prediction is an important element in encouraging children to anticipate words as they begin to read. She also knows that threes are developmentally unpredictable when it comes to listening, and today she has some very antsy children on the rug for story time.
Claudia: Hanna, you'll see better if you move over here, because I hold the book in my right hand. There's space between Rob and Cassie. Are we ready?
Children: Yeah! Yeah!
Claudia: This is a book I know you love. It's called...?
Children: Rattletrap Car!
Claudia: Why does the author call it a "rattletrap" car? I'm not exactly sure myself. Let's find out.
Claudia begins to read with inflection and investment, but feels free to stop the story as children inch across the rug to point to the pictures. She says softly, "Jaz, come sit in my lap. Are we ready now?" The rhythmic patterns in Rattletrap Car are portions of the book that Claudia reads slowly, so the children can chime in.
Claudia: They didn't go fast, and they didn't go...?
As the story progresses, Claudia takes her time, leaving space for the children's comments. She reads with a rhythmic cadence, allowing her voice to drop to a soft tone and then rise to a dynamic one as she and the children join together with:
"I think it's YUMMY!
I think it's YUCKY!
I think the world is UPSIDE DOWN!"
Reading has evolved into a communicative experience for all the children in Claudia's class.