Have you tried moving to a different spot for the reading? If you've been teaching from one end of the carpet, I suggest moving to another side and having the kids turn to face you.
If a story has repetition, you could have them fill in some of the words as you read.
Perhaps you could read a section of the story, then stop and ask the students to share what happened with their elbow partner. After a few seconds they can share with you and then you read the next section.
I teach sixth grade now, but these strategies were effective when I taught kindergarten. I hope they help.
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I love Colleen's ideas. Also, you may want to give students a choice about how they sit (criss cross apple sauce, on their knees, etc...), where to sit (on chairs, carpet, carpet squares, etc...) and what book you'll read. Whenever you can give them a choice, they are instantly a little more engaged.
I just watched this video and thought about your question. It's about interactive read alouds. Love it! https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/pre-k-reading-comprehension
Giving a students a purpose prior to reading the story is very helpful. Concentrate on one reading strategy to model thoughout the interactive read aloud. Some examples are predicting, visualizing, inferring, making connections, or building schema. Model the strategy as you read, and then have the students turn to their "thinking partner" to turn and talk, about the strategy you are focusing on. Move around and listen in to each group share their thoughts. This is a wondeful way to informally assess what students are using the strategy, and comprehending the story. I love using strategy songs. I put the words on large chart paper and point to each word as I sing the song. Then students sing it with me. We revisit the strategy, before, during, and after reading the story. I love the website below for the words to common reading strategy songs, but there are others out there too.
Good luck! Teaching kindergarten is not nearly as easy as people think, and "teaching" children how to sit on the carpet, how to "turn and talk" all take time, but are well worth the results.
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