Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Read Aloud with Accountable Talk

I love doing read alouds!  I have always read aloud books during Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies and even Math.  I really enjoy sitting down with students and sharing the written word.  I feel that there is a perfect picture book to go with just about every concept that can be taught.  But until this year, I didn't have a specific time in the day that was "Read Aloud" time, where I read a chapter book/picture book and discuss it for many different reasons.  I am not saying I never had a read aloud time of day, I just don't think I used it the best way I could have until now.  Now, I dedicate 15-20 minutes at the end of every day for Read Aloud time.  My students have their Read Aloud Response notebook that they bring with them.  This time of day does not tie in with one specific teaching point, rather I cover MANY different points with my students.  I started this at the beginning of the year, we got into a great routine.  My students now expect this time, look forward to it, and get really sad when we miss this time of day.  What I love the most is students get so wrapped into the books they do not want this time to end.  Each day I use strategies such as Turn-and-Talk, Stop and Jot, and Stop and Sketch.  I honestly think that my students LOVE Stop and Sketch so much, and they are really thinking as they are drawing their pictures to match the text.  There is not much time dedicated into the day for drawing, so a few days a week, when they have to sketch during read aloud, the students' inner artists come out.  During this time, I bring in strategies that good readers use, writing techniques that great writers use, and pull in other content area connections.  Chapter books we have read this year include: Magic Tree House series; Sarah, Plain and TallSkylark; The 13 Clocks; The Stories Julian TellsMy Name is Maria Isabel; and many, many more.  We fly through the pages of chapter books, and my students love to continue reading books in the series, after I start one.  One of my favorite moments occurred when I started The Criminals in the Caymans by Connie Lee Berry, and no sooner had we left the rug, then all the books in the series were borrowed with pleas to take the books home and read them that night.  How can I say no to students who can't wait to read?  Did I mention, I love the read aloud time a day in the classroom?  It's the best time of day to spend with my students, getting them excited to read, read, read!!

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