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August 27, 2009

Read Alouds: Making Meaning From the Beginning

By Eric Antuna
Grades 1–2

    The research goes back and forth about reading: should it be aloud, SSR, DEAR, reading for pleasure...it's as much one as it is the other (and seems there's as many acronyms, too!). In these few weeks we have been back to school, I have made a very conscious effort to read aloud any and every possible story, book, chapter, heading, letter, paragraph — you name it, I or we read it! And you know what? It's paying off.

    Almost every day, I get a request from a student to have a story read to the class. I try to get to everyone's request, but as we all know, time is the ultimate factor. The most dazzling part is that some of my "lowest" readers are bringing in books that they really want to have read to them — perhaps there's no one that has enough English literacy to read to them or they just want to hear their favorite story read (yet again!) to them aloud.

    In addition to me reading, I have the "Person of the Day" read a story to the class. The Person of the Day is my helper for the day. It makes it so much easier for me to have one person that changes daily do all my errands, passing of papers, changing of the calendar, and of course read a story to the class. Every child has a chance to do this, I just have my class list and put a paper clip on the day's current Person of the Day.

    At first, when the Person of the Day reads, it's pretty intense, so I model it for a few days, doing all the "jobs" myself, then passing it to the person first on the list. When it's their turn to read, we all meet at the carpet and the person of the day gets to sit in the comfy chair and read aloud for 5 minutes (or 3 or 2 depending on what amount of time you have). They get to read right after lunch — this helps me get the kids settled down and allows them to cool down from the 109 degree heat.

    Getting them to have this excitement for reading is one of my main goals for my students. If anyone has more ideas, please share!

    I read, they read, we all read!

    Thanks!

    Eric

    The research goes back and forth about reading: should it be aloud, SSR, DEAR, reading for pleasure...it's as much one as it is the other (and seems there's as many acronyms, too!). In these few weeks we have been back to school, I have made a very conscious effort to read aloud any and every possible story, book, chapter, heading, letter, paragraph — you name it, I or we read it! And you know what? It's paying off.

    Almost every day, I get a request from a student to have a story read to the class. I try to get to everyone's request, but as we all know, time is the ultimate factor. The most dazzling part is that some of my "lowest" readers are bringing in books that they really want to have read to them — perhaps there's no one that has enough English literacy to read to them or they just want to hear their favorite story read (yet again!) to them aloud.

    In addition to me reading, I have the "Person of the Day" read a story to the class. The Person of the Day is my helper for the day. It makes it so much easier for me to have one person that changes daily do all my errands, passing of papers, changing of the calendar, and of course read a story to the class. Every child has a chance to do this, I just have my class list and put a paper clip on the day's current Person of the Day.

    At first, when the Person of the Day reads, it's pretty intense, so I model it for a few days, doing all the "jobs" myself, then passing it to the person first on the list. When it's their turn to read, we all meet at the carpet and the person of the day gets to sit in the comfy chair and read aloud for 5 minutes (or 3 or 2 depending on what amount of time you have). They get to read right after lunch — this helps me get the kids settled down and allows them to cool down from the 109 degree heat.

    Getting them to have this excitement for reading is one of my main goals for my students. If anyone has more ideas, please share!

    I read, they read, we all read!

    Thanks!

    Eric

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