Early Morning Reading of Guji Guji
Before morning circle time, the teacher reads Guji, Guji to some early arriving students.
When the teacher had finished reading the first book of the morning, he asked his students which book he should read next. They chose Guji Guji.
The teacher began reading the book to the children and asked them questions as they went along. The question “Is that how crocodiles ride a tricycle?” did not elicit any responses, so the teacher rephrased it to “How do you think crocodiles ride a tricycle?”
J responded with, “Do you know what I like to do? I like to ride my skateboard on skateboard ramps.”
J continued to say, “Once I saw a skateboard, and the skateboard had only one wheel.”
“That wouldn’t roll too well would it?” The teacher responded.
“But the guy could balance on it,” J said.
Questions like this and the comments that follow, help children to gain and use their vocabulary.
By allowing the children to choose the story they wanted to hear, the teacher accomplished several things. He empowered the children to make a decision – giving them control of the situation allows them to learn to make decisions and to feel confident in those decisions. He also allowed them to cooperate with one another to decide on a book. This type of interaction allows children to develop their negotiation skills. The children became vested in the book. They made the decision to have this particular book read; they will be more likely to stay to hear it.
The close proximity of the teacher to the students is, according to Cole (2004), “a deeply rewarding, warm, human experience for the children…” This lays “the foundation for later success in reading (p.4).”