Happy Read Aloud Day!
Who doesn't love a great read aloud? I know I do. I always enjoyed reading to my third graders and I know they really loved it too. There's nothing like taking a journey together into a great BOOK and now I enjoy reading to my children as well.
Reading aloud is so important for children in language development. It helps them to hear the poetry and rhythm of words, feel the story and then even helps them get a feel of the language usage when writing. Like I said, I have always loved the sound of words and the play of language, but not all children enjoy this.
SO that brings me to a question. Thinking about my children, one really loved reading from the start and the other, I've had to work on. It's okay if a child doesn't naturally enjoy reading, but...
How do you instill that love of READING?
Here are some quick suggestions I've found helpful in the classroom and at home for helping the not-so- excited child learn to love read aloud time.
1. Set the MOOD.
Make sure all technology in the room is off or out of view. You need a calming place without distractions of screens. Think "Little House in the Big Woods." LOL, no kiddng. There's nothing like dimming the lights a bit and letting the QUIET of the room take over so that all your children hear is the sound of your voice reading and the turning of the pages...ah....
2. Allow for busy hands.
In January, I wrote a post about coloring and how it relaxes the body while engaging the brain. This too has a place in the classroom, as written and so, during read aloud time, why not set up an area in the back of the room for those busy bodies who need to color while listening? As long as they do it quietly, it can't hurt.
3. Soft Surfaces
In school, I always remember coming in from lunch or recess and my teacher turned the lights out for read aloud time. I put my head down on my desk. Some folks fell asleep, of course, but learning was still happening for the rest of us. We were recharging while listening and getting lost in a story. AND BOY, did I have a pain in my neck afterwards! I know most people have soft areas in their classroom. I always enjoyed sitting on the rug with my third graders and gathering around a book. If possible, provide pillows or for young ones, stuffed animals to hold.
4. Require participation
Students and teachers must be on board during read aloud time, that everyone, no exception is to be in the room and is to be quiet and listening. There should not be anyone asking to be excused until the time is up. This is a time to bond together.
Pick a time in your schedule that allows for the same time every day, a time that is not often interrupted by assemblies, etc. Standards are important, but there's something far more important and more memorable by spending just 15-20 minutes a day around a book.
Books really do bring teachers and students together. They build bonds and they allow the sharing of experiences about life and places all from inside a classroom! When you make it important to read aloud, you also show a love of reading to your students that they can truly appreciate! This is often their most favorite time of the day.
Check out some of scholastic's 100 Best Read Alouds!
Happy Read Aloud Day! Share the wonderment of a book with your students!