The sunlight seeped through the window’s gaps of Boawae school’s library while Mrs Indriati Julita Bunga, the third-grade homeroom teacher, was conducting a reading aloud activity. The room’s atmosphere was really lit up, and students were extremely excited as can be seen from the fire in their eyes when listening to Mrs Indri reading a story. Their hands oftentimes were raised into the air to react to Mrs Indri’s questions about the story. What made it more thrilling is when Mrs Indri imitated interesting sounds and gestures from the story, which turned into the most special things in reading aloud activity in the heart of the students.
Students are always carried away by how Mrs Indri played extremely well with her expressions, intonations, and gestures during reading aloud. Now, students can imitate how to read an interesting story just like Mrs Indri during break time.
Apart from conducting reading aloud for her students, Mrs Indri also read for her son who is still in kindergarten. It all started when her son saw her reading a story for the third graders.
“Mom, could you please read a book for me?”, her son requested.
Right away, Mrs Indri asked him to take a book he liked, and she would read it to the end. Just like Mrs Indri’s students, he also felt happy and got carried away when Mrs Indri was reading a story which was combined with various expressions, making him want to listen to her over and over again. After that, her son usually retells the story with his own version. One day, Mrs Indri was reading a library collection entitled “Senggutru and the Giant”. Her son, who was still in kindergarten and just introduced with letters, listened to the story about a dwarf and a giant attentively. After Mrs Indri finished reading, he surprisingly could describe the story well while looking at the pictures in the book.
“Senggutru is very small, just like a dwarf, Mom”, said her son after finished reading.
Now, Mrs Indri also likes to borrow books from the library like her students to read them for her son.
So, what is Mrs Indri’s in creating a fun reading activity? To Rainbow Reading Gardens’ team, Mrs Indri gave her tips and tricks which can be employed by other teachers to make reading aloud more fun:
- First, preparation is the key before conducting the activity.
- Second, choosing an interesting book but reading it before hand is crucial to understand the storyline.
- Third, practice at home. You can do this to your children or family’s children. Practice on how to involve interesting expressions, gestures, and intonations. While doing it, you can identify interesting features to exploit and potential questions to ask.
“I think, once the teacher understand reading aloud procedures, students can enjoy this activity more, and it should be followed up by reading aloud competitions”, said Mrs Indri whose favourite book is “When the Power is Out” for reading aloud.
By reading the story with various and interesting expressions, intonations, and gestures, it can help students to dive into the story. Also, they can understand it more easily and get infected to perform the same thing, reading a story with expressions, intonations, and gestures making them become a better reader.
Through her excellence in reading a story, Mrs Indri has become a role model for other teachers in her school. This is definitely not a one-day process. In the beginning of Rainbow Reading Gardens partnership with her school, she used to hesitate and lack of confidence when given the role as teacher coordinator for reading activities in the library since she thought there were more senior and capable teachers compared to her in the school. However, the school principal, Mrs Rosa, had a different view that all teachers in the schools were all treated the same with different responsibilities and roles. As for Mrs Indri, the principal believed that she had been destined to take the role as teacher coordinator in their child friendly library.
Now, Mrs Indri has gained her confidence and always allocated her time to guide other teachers to conduct reading activities in every visit hour. To improve further, Mrs Indri consults with the school principal and senior teachers by digging deeper many good practices which can be learned and applied for library development in the future. This won’t be possible without her great enthusiasm and hard work to develop herself.
Slowly, Rainbow Reading Gardens’ team encourage Mrs Indri to regularly support and monitor reading activities conducted by other teachers. This idea has been welcomed and agreed upon by Mrs Indri.