I read an article in Educational Leadership about the 5 things that we should be doing with kids every day. Unfortunately I have since misplaced the article and so I only remember a few….
1 of them was that kids should be reading something they have chosen themselves.
1 of them was that they should be given dedicated time to read each day (in our school we start every day with 20 minutes of reading).
And 1 of them was that a child should be read to out loud by a competent adult each day.
In my classroom we have just finished our 6th read aloud book. We started with the Gordon Kormon series “Island”. And the kids loved his books so much they wanted another series by him. So I read them the “Dive” book series. Now we have started the “Kidnapped” series.
I love reading to them. And they have come to demand it. When I walk to the front of the room and grab the book, excited whispers start to filter through my room and they put away their “school” stuff and get ready to listen. I leave them at cliff hangers and they beg me to read another chapter. I read for half an hour and they will say….just five more minutes!
Not all my kids in my class are confident readers. Some are struggling. But they all love to be read to and so they are actively engaged in literature. I think this is incredibly important because when you struggle to do something on your own, it’s easy to drop it and let it disappear. Now that we are writing stories, my struggling readers are actually still finding it easy to come up with story ideas. Why? Because they are pulling things from the stories we are reading in class.
I read until my throat is raw some days. And I was so broken hearted to hear another adult refer to that as a great “time” waster. It’s not a waste of time.
If we want kids engaged in reading, sometimes it starts with simply hooking them into the stories.
And how do I know it works? Because my struggling readers are starting to get sneaky and look for the books in the series ahead of time and read them. They come to me with little looks the next day and say, “I know what’s going to happen next!”
Every kid should know the joy of having an adult read out loud to them, I don’t care what the age. I teach Grade 6 now but I used to teach Grade 8 and I did this with them too.
It’s so worth it.
What books are you reading with your class? I would love to know!