Student Read-Aloud Time
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
One day during Silent Reading, Lauren raised her hand. She suggested I read Bearsie Bear and the Surprise Sleepover Party by Bernard Waber for Read-Aloud. When I asked her to read a favorite page, she read with great expression and fluency, giving Bearsie Bear and Piggie Pig very animated voices. It occurred to me that perhaps I needed to extend time for sharing books to include time for students to read aloud to classmates.
"You just read that page to me with a better voice than I could ever find for Foxie Fox," I explained to Lauren. "I think you should read a page or two of this book to the class." Lauren's face lit up. "Good idea, Mrs. Lunsford!"
Later that day, I announced that it was time for Student Read-Aloud. The students were thrilled to discover they would be having a second Read-Aloud.
Our Introduction to Student-Read-Aloud
Mapping Out a Plan for Student Read-Aloud
clap for her as she joins them on the carpet. We take a few minutes
to share comments about Lauren's Read-Aloud. Madison tells how impressed
she was by Lauren's animal voices. Jack wonders if she was nervous.
Molly tells Lauren she read "just like a teacher." As I had guessed,
more students raised their hands and said they thought they should
read a few pages of different silent reading books. I took the advice
of my friend and fellow second grade teacher, Cindy Cowan, and made
a chart labeled "Student Read-Aloud" on the board next
to our gathering space. First thing the next morning I gathered
the students to discuss a plan for Student Read-Aloud that would
ensure that everyone had a fair opportunity to share books. After
this initial Student Read-Aloud meeting, we agreed to the plan and
recorded it on a chart as follows:
- Find a great book to read to the class.
the book with Mrs. Lunsford during
(Remember to read with lots of expression!)
- Mrs. L. will have you write your name on the Student Read-Aloud chart.
- Keep practicing your book during Silent Reading until it's your turn for Student Read-Aloud.
- Do your best reading when the "Big Day" arrives.
- Get a sticker for being a Star Reader!
Our time spent during Silent Reading mini-conferences took on a new focus as the students practiced reading stories to share for Student Read-Aloud. As a result, words were sounded out with greater care, motivated by the desire to read to the class. I was encouraged by the fact that every student, even my less confident readers, eventually sat in front of their peers with a favorite book to read. Over the course of the school year, I could see that Read-Aloud time was helping my students to develop fluency, which is so important for building comprehension.
Student Read-Aloud is a reminder of the successes that can happen when students work together to encourage each other's strengths as well as each other's weaknesses. This time spent sharing discoveries in literature did more to inspire my young readers than all the gentle encouragement I could ever hope to give.