My blog today focuses on an article about teacher read alouds in Today’s classrooms. The article title is “Using Read Alouds in Today’s Classrooms Read Alouds Benefit Children of all Ages and in all Subjects” from Leadership Compass, Vol. 5, No. 3, Spring 2008 by Reba M. Wadsworth.
Why this subject? Well, aside from the obvious reason of sticking to my blogging goal and writing what comes to mind, this is an area I have struggled with since becoming a teacher. I will say that I have done a much better job this year, having read 5 chapter books (working on #6) and countless storybooks. As I did some advanced reading of the book we are currently reading (Honey, by Sarah Weeks), I pondered the question…is the time spent reading a book aloud worth it? I really wanted something to validate the time. So I went to my old, wise, sagely advisor…Google.
As I normally do after I have such a deep question, I did a little research. A quick Google Search turned up the above mentioned article. This quote from the article served to highlight my concerns: “This increased focus on assessments might cause classroom environments to become increasingly more stressful as teachers work to help students meet (common standards) requirements.” After all, there are no read alouds on Florida’s FSA. So how can I justify the time?
Well it didn’t take much reading to find my answer Wadsworth says “We must constantly remind ourselves that read alouds are an irresistible invitation to welcome children into the exciting world of literacy. Read alouds are powerful because they serve so many instructional purposes—to motivate, encourage, excite, build background, develop comprehension, assist children in making connections, and serve as a model of what fluent reading sounds like.” Wha-la…in a nut shell, yes Mr. Hattal your perplexing question of the day is answered with a resounding yes!
All along, I’ve known the answer to this question…but the validation is very comforting. After all, my kids LOVE to be read to. They can’t wait to hear what happens next, they talk about the book, they express emotions as we read. They want to know more, they are motivated and inspired. It builds classroom unity when they rally for the hero or heroine. It inspires me and I find myself asking myself why haven’t I read some of these amazing books? My increased focus on reading books aloud has changed my classroom, dare I say, more than anything else I have done this year!
Well…maybe I didn’t really need to read Wadsworth article…but a little validation, to start the day, never hurts!