Many children have gone to daycare or been part of play groups, but for some, prekindergarten is their first experience with a group read-aloud. With careful teaching, even young children new to school can follow these simple routines. Again, you will find methods of teaching that fit your class, but here's a general approach that is effective:
- Demonstrate the behavior yourself. Describe it in words that are simple. Tell children why it is important.
- Have two or three children demonstrate the behavior while the others watch (maybe in a circle). Have everyone clap when they do it well.
- Have everyone demonstrate the behavior and clap for themselves.
- Insist on the behavior every time with gentle reminders and more demonstration as needed. (If you constantly allow deviations, children will become confused about your expectations.)
- Give specific praise to the children when they demonstrate the expected behavior.
- Use positive commands whenever possible; tell children what to so rather than what not to do.