How do you teach little learners rules and procedures for the kindergarten classroom? How do you introduce reading, vocabulary and print concepts? Picture books can be the answer to many of these questions. Using picture books in the kindergarten classroom is a multi-faceted approach to teaching skills and concepts.
Rules and Procedures
Classroom rules and procedures are often the first topic kindergarten teachers must teach new students. This topic must be explained, modeled, and practiced over and over throughout the school year. Finding a way that is both fun and purposeful can be challenging. However, I have found that picture books are an engaging and meaningful way to go about teaching this otherwise mundane but necessary topic. Starting with the first day of kindergarten, I read these books aloud to the class, as well keep many in my classroom library for the students to read on their own. As early childhood educators, we know that you can not consequence a child if the expectations are not known. Picture books are an impactful way to introduce and explain these rules.
As experienced teachers for young students already know, reading books aloud to little learners help with the introduction of print concepts. In recent years, many students come to the kindergarten classroom with very little, if any, physical book reading experience. Thus, reading aloud demonstrates how a book is to be read, intonations, vocabulary and pronunciations. Research has shown that using picture books helps teach these many reading concepts as well as keep kindergarteners engaged. (See blog post “Concepts of Print – Know Better, Do Better – Summer Book Study 2022 – Chapter 2”.) Reading picture books to your class will not only introduce print concepts, but instill and expand reading skills and knowledge.
Classroom Themes and Seasonal Topics
Having a variety of picture books available in your classroom library allows for many opportunities for your kiddos to explore different topics. Picture books gives you the opportunity to introduce and teach themes and seasonal topics in a much more meaningful and entertaining way. Since there are so many books available for almost every topic you will teach, I have created a list of books I have used and love in my classroom library. Click here for link.
Intentional use of picture books is a must for every early education teacher. However, you have permission to read a book just for the sake of reading. Not every book needs to be an opportunity for instruction. Pick a silly, meaningless, hilarious book to read on occasion to your little ones. You and your students will enjoy the break. Remember, the simple act of reading aloud is, in itself, educational!!