This week our school is participating in a Stop. Drop. Read. challenge. For 10 minutes on Friday morning, we will stop what we are doing and read. We have the option of reading silently or reading something together. I’ve decided to do a Read Aloud with one of my favorite new pictures books:
Why are we doing this?
- We have been invited by another school to join them. They want to set a record for the most people reading at the same time.
- It is fun to break up a Friday routine with a different activity. Also, I’ll have 6th graders, and what 6th grader isn’t up for a quick story time?
- Read Aloud time is essential. It is important. It should happen in all grade levels in all schools across the country.
Thoughts about Read Alouds
This week we read two articles on Read Alouds. They present some interesting ideas.
Katherine Sokolowski stressed the importance of reading out loud to people of all ages – from birth to graduation. She continues by saying that there are many purposes to a Read Aloud. She uses them to get to know students, to build character, to create a fun environment, and to teach them something. Read Alouds are essential in her 5th grade class.
We also read a piece from Franki Sibberson, a 3rd grade teacher. She shared with us some of her favorite Read Aloud books – ones that she uses to fulfill a purpose. Her class has Read Aloud time to begin working on conversation about books, to model a reader’s notebook, and to practice using audio books. She is very careful with her Read Aloud choices. She believes that our Read Aloud choices are seen as the types or difficulty of books that we, as teachers, value from our students reading. Choosing books from a wide variety of genres, ability levels, and on a wide array of topics is essential for building a Read Aloud routine.
Back in my class….
I think classroom Read Alouds are vital. I’ve seen them modeled in the middle grades classroom – with a teacher reading and modeling notetaking, by reading along with an audiobook, by using a combination of styles including partner reads. I’ve learned a few things along the way too. I learned that even 8th grade students can get into a children’s book – they are not too cool for it. I’ve learned that if I am excited about a book, students will be excited. I’ve also learned that when we do Read Alouds, students then share what they are reading with each other and with me. Each time I do a Read Aloud, I end up with a giant homework list of their favorite books. I love it.
Read Alouds with a Purpose
I’ve gone through the list of the books that I have read so far this semester to come up with a Top 10 list of books I’d use in my middle grades classroom. As I thought about what books to choose, I thought about why I would choose it and what lesson it would demonstrate. So, without further ado, here is my……
Top 10 Read Alouds (in no particular order)
To practice our oral reading fluency
To talk about how we are not that different from one another
To introduce reflective writing
To practice a book/film comparison
My Read Aloud Lessons
I’ve learned that Read Aloud times are an important time for bonding, character building, learning, practicing reading and listening, and for fun. I’ve learned that we can read children’s books and picture books to students of all ages. I’ve learned that I need to continue to build my Read Aloud list.
And with that, my typical “end of post plea”…..
What books do you think are great for Read Alouds? Are there special considerations when choosing a Read Aloud for middle grades? What is your favorite Read Aloud?
As always, let’s talk below…..