If you don’t read aloud to your students in class, you need to start right away. Sunday night was my first experience with a very worthwhile PD opportunity called Titletalk on Twitter. Titletalk happens once a month and his hosted by Donalyn Miller and Paul Hawkins. Various topics are discussed involving books. This past Sunday Colby Sharp filled in as co-host for Paul Hawkins and the topic was read alouds. I myself read aloud to my 7th and 8th graders and I find it a very rewarding experience with my classes. First, it allows my students to clearly understand tone and voice behind an author’s book. Next, it exposes my students to other genres that are out in the world, not just the ones the curriculum tells us as educators to teach. On Sunday night many teachers discussed the relationships they built with their students by reading out loud to them. I couldn’t agree more with the statements that were made about those relationships. As a teacher, there is nothing more rewarding then hearing a student ask if we are going to be doing read aloud or that ever famous “YES”, when I tell my students I will be starting class with where we left off yesterday in our book we are reading.
Now, many teachers also discussed time issues with read alouds. I completely understand and I have a very simple, to the point answer…make time. Even if you read out loud to your students for 5 minutes a day, it is worth it. The best comment I heard Sunday night was how even low readers in a classroom can follow along. That my friends is reason enough for me to keep that fire lit when it comes to reading out loud. After all, why should we be allowed as adults to listen to books on CD in the car and not read out loud to the kids in our classroom and our kids at home. It is basically the same idea. Someone is reading the book to you and you are listening.
So, what are you waiting for, go to your school library or your classroom shelves and find an intriguing book to read to your students. If you have kids at home, keep reading to them. Some parents are reading to their children through middle school and that my dear colleagues is awesome. Ignite the fire, get them passionate, and get them to want to read. What a sight it would be to see students in your classroom fighting over books.