She's right, and I can't stop thinking about it. For all of our fun read alouds, all of our dancing and chanting to Pete the Cat, yelling at Mrs. Wishy Washy, and arguing with the Pigeons he just sits there because that's what we're suppose to be doing. While everyone else is repeating lines or yelling back at that naughty Pigeon she's quiet, off in her own world.
I have her turn the pages in the book- sometimes- usually when I can tell that she's not paying attention to us- but even then I have to take her hand and help her turn the pages. When we're in a whole group lesson she's put up a wall keeping us out.
We'll ask her questions and give her visuals that she can use to point to, but she won't even look at the visuals with her eyes- she just gazes in the other direction and lets us gently take her hand and put it where it belongs.
I have physical objects I use for some read alouds that we hold up at certain parts in the story- but even then she doesn't seem interested.
So much of our class community is build around our read alouds. We use read alouds as the basis of every lesson and every activity. We use read alouds when we need a break or we want to be silly or when I just can't decide what we'll do next. We HAVE to find a way to reach her and help her participate.
How do we break down the wall and help her enter into our read alouds?
I had one boy who had to have taught and modeled how to pay attention to a read-aloud. Most kids just figure it out- but I had to teach him that paying attention means his eyes on the teacher or book, his ears listening to the story, his body still so he can focus, and his brain thinking about the story.
He also did really well with having a specific purpose to listen for in each story, like... "I wonder if someone can listen for the special sound words, or onomatopoeia, in this book. Whenever you hear one, show me with this motion."
Good luck figuring something out!
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