While changing your curriculum might seem to be a daunting task, the transition to Read, Play, and Learn!® is actually quite easy. Your existing theme-based materials can be adapted for use with Read, Play, and Learn!® modules, and classroom activity centers can be set up with existing supplies. Others making the transition have found it to be relatively easy.
Here is a guide to the steps you can take to implement Read, Play, and Learn!® in your classroom.
Planning and Implementation
Read, Play, and Learn!® contains 16 modules that extend over the entire academic year. The recommended time allotment for each module is 2 weeks, although there are enough activities to extend modules for longer periods of time. Although the modules have been sequenced to coincide with seasons and holidays, as well as other events (The Kissing Hand with the beginning of the school year), you should feel free to modify the sequence or substitute some storybooks of your choice to meet the particular needs of your students or allow for sharing of materials between teachers.
For each module, youll want to meet as a team to decide on activities and address modifications for individual students. Its recommended that educational teams meet at least once a week to evaluate the students progress and plan for the coming week.
Step 1: Read the story together and decide how the storys theme (friendship, homesickness, solving problems, a particular season or holiday) will be integrated into activities. Specialists and therapists can also integrate the theme and classroom concepts into the activities they do.
Step 2: Review the modules activities and decide which are appropriate for your class. Each storybook has a module activity book which offers many activities that teachers can use. Teams can pick and choose which ones they feel will meet their students needs moat effectively. Teachers can also add their own activities as they wish.
The sample planning sheets in each module book offer teachers a simple way to select activities. Then, teachers can fill in one of the blank planning sheets in the appendix of the Teachers Guide with each activity they have chosen for each day and a description of the activity. Copies of the sheets can be sent home to parents so they are aware of the activities planned for a given story.
Step 3: Make a tape recording of the story. A team member, classroom volunteer, or parent can do the reading. The tape can then be made available, along with a tape recorder, in the Literacy Center, so that the children can listen to the story on their own.
Step 4: Select a sequence of three or four actions or events within the story to act out, and prepare a simple script that the children can follow. This will be used in the Dramatic Play Area during the first few days of reading each story. Some modules do provide a script for you to use, but you do not need to follow that script.
Step 5: Consider each center and what each needs. Think about how they will be arranged in relation to each other and how you will use them to meet developmental and emergent literacy objectives. When planning for the reading of each story, think about the props and visual aids you will need, as well as adaptive materials and modifications for children at differing developmental levels. (The Teachers Guide includes a comprehensive list of questions your team can address step by step to make sure you cover all of your bases.)
Youve most likely pondered these questions in the planning of your current activities. By repurposing existing materials, collaborating with other team members, and considering materials and adaptations for each center individually, teachers find that planning and implementing Read, Play, and Learn!® is no trouble. Once all team members have chosen activities and modifications, all thats left are the final stages.
Step 6: Assign various team members responsible for obtaining the various items. Those not already available at your school can usually be obtained from parents or even through donations from local businesses.
Step 7: Determine which team members will be responsible for the various centers and which centers will be combined into zones. This way, team members and volunteers can cover more than one area and all children receive the necessary supervision.
Step 8: Establish a schedule for your programs use of the curriculum, taking into account the number of hours in your program day and the number of days per week you see the children. If your program meets for a full day, decide which centers will be available in the morning and which in the afternoon. See the Daily Schedule page for ideas.
Step 9: Working from the sample letter to be sent home to parents that is provided with each module, individualize the letter for your programs families and let them know about the exciting activities that await their children, as well as ways for them to become involved.
Step 10: Have Fun!