Saturday, August 15, 2015

Teaching Executive Skills Through Independent Reading Time

Young children have a difficult time managing their own behavior because of immature Executive Skills.  These skills aren't fully develop until the age of about 24.  Adults constantly have to come alongside children and guide them as they develop these critical skills. 

One time in our preschool day that was often difficult for children was the transition from snack to circle time.  Children finished their snack at various times and that meant there was a little bit of wait time for those who finished first.  We offered the children some independent reading time while they waited for their friends. 

 
Sometimes, independent reading time can be chaotic with young children.  They need help organizing themselves, settling down and getting started with their books, and then focusing their attention to the end.  I developed these "bags of books" for my classroom to help them be more successful.  See this post for more information about how to create your own book bags using cheap bags from the Dollar Store.

To help children be successful we followed these tips:
1. Put books in the bag that individual children are interested in and are appropriate
2. Add visuals to the bag to remind the children what they CAN do while they have the bag
3. Give children their own space to sit or lay quietly to enjoy their books.

Here is a free printable visual that you can add to the outside of the bag to help children make helpful choices.