Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Magic of Boxcar Children...

What is it about this book? My third grade teacher read this book to me, stopping at very important parts of the text for us to hang on the cliff until the next day. It's the same today, I stopped when it was time for music and I heard the groans from my children. "Awwww, we have to stop?"
Lester Laminack says, and I paraphrase here, that the read aloud should be like crack to children. Hanging on your every word students should leave the read aloud wanting more, getting just enough, but hungry for more...
I think that teachers underestimate the value of reading aloud to students. When children hear that rich language flow from an adult they soak it up like a sponge. Teachers must be aware, they must practice, and they must use those tried and true texts that they love. Children notice when you haven't read the text prior to the performance. They will notice when you don't "perform" well.
When do you use the read aloud in your classroom? When do your students get to settle in and fall in love with a text?
-In the morning, to open the day. This is a time to enjoy new books, or read books that you will study later, or when you are able to use a book to discuss procedures or how to treat one another nicely! The opening read aloud is so important!
-During interactive read aloud, this give students the opportunity to discuss, share, and express themselves. Discussions like these really give me insight as to how my students are understanding the comprehension strategies, but it allows them to think critically. Really higher level thinking occurs here.
-Chapter book read aloud- for first grade this is difficult because their attention spans are all at varying lengths. We start with very short books, like Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, and Frog and Toad. Now, we are moving into lengthier texts, like Boxcar Children and Charlotte's Web. This book is to discuss, to retell, and to just lovvvveeee.
- Thematic Books- these are books that introduce topics in Science, Math, or Health. Children need a wide variety of different types of books when you are introducing a topic. Some children enjoy poetry about animals, nonfiction books that give information, and even fictional characters that teach us about topics.
Reading aloud is so important!


Mike Rush said...

I just came from Jen Barney's blog, she's a teacher in Fort Wayne, and I encouraged her to get involved in the National Writing Project because we need people her quality.

Now I come to your site, see that you are also in the NE Indiana area, and that you too would be so valuable to us in the NWP. If you haven't checked that out, please do. The Appleseed Writing Project in Ft. Wayne is at http://www.ipfw.edu/awp

You can also check out the national site at www.nwp.org. We just had our national meeting in Philly and after reading your post I could see you too presenting to the national audience.

I STILL love a good read aloud!

Mike Teacher Food

cbstudent said...

Reading out loud is very important. I am thankful you posted this. I am currently reading "The BFG" to my second graders. We do a story map on each chapter. It is some of my students' favorite time of the day.
Again, thank you for your post.

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