Growing Readers Revamp!

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It is more than time for an update on how “Growing Readers” is going!

(You can find my first outline of the program available here: Growing Readers Outline.)

Towards the end of December, kids were rushing through the activity stations to try and finish first! After that, I let them take books from the storytime collection to the rug independently. It worked for the first week. The next week, everyone went faster and fought over the pop-up edition of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I knew that things had to change.

I took a break from “Growing Readers” in January to order more supplies (different literacy stations and activities), to deal with low registration (likely due to flu season), to avoid snowstorms and emergency closings, and to work on tweaking the program. I also spent some time re-training my teen volunteers to be more engaging with the children.

After the races towards the end of the program, I began to think that kids were getting more out of the storytime aspect than the activity stations. Which is totally fine! (And I’m going to take as a giant compliment, right?) The activity stations are supposed to supplement the storytime — not the other way around! I needed to add more to my storytime, and I really wanted to increase the interactivity.

Now, I read two to three books (depending on time), and include two apps on the iPad. I’ll be doing some write-ups on which apps were successful for us and which ones didn’t go over so well.

Which leads me to the activity stations — we only have about twenty minutes for activity stations now, and that seems to be working much, much better because the kids do not have enough time to race through and finish even if they tried. The teens are much better at asking follow-up questions and interacting with the kids. All in all, I made the right decision by working through a re-vamp.

I’ll start the activity stations again next week (Tuesdays, baring complications!), and app reviews as I find the time to write them up properly!

4 comments on “Growing Readers Revamp!

  1. Elizabeth
    April 16, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Thanks so much for posting “lessons learned” as I get ready to launch the same sort of program during summer reading. 🙂

    • Katie
      April 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      You’re welcome! The lessons learned are almost as important as the “how to do it” posts.

  2. Michelle
    April 16, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I have had the same sort of mad dash to the ‘make letters from playdoh’ station in my Ready, Set, Read! program. I have had attendance ups and downs due to the weather/flu/time of year as well. This summer, I’m changing the time to early afternoon instead of making it an evening program. I’m hoping that more kindergarteners will stop by and use the program as a “summer slide” preventative. I’m eager to see what apps you’re using! Great job!

    • Katie
      April 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      It would be so wonderful if they do use the program to prevent summer slide. I might be re-marketing “Growing Readers” for the summer for that very reason!

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