I remember sitting on the plane coming home from my first Teachers College Summer Reading Institute. I spent the flight pouring over Lester Laminack’s book on Read Aloud. Marking pages. Trying to understand how to do this thing called Read Aloud.
Ten years later, I’m still working on it.
Read Aloud is probably the most important (and misunderstood) tool of a reading teacher.
How to read and love a book is a precious gift reading teachers share when they read aloud. It can provide the opportunity to
- build community
- access the possibilities of reading
- wonder, theorize, think deeply
- study text on a macro or a micro level
- understand why reading matters
- find joy in reading
Read aloud is the heart and soul of my reading classroom.
Read aloud provides the why we must be readers.
But, read aloud can’t happen without books that allow for meaningful and varied work with students.
To do this challenging and I believe sacred work, I’ve bought a lot of books. Some are necessary at certain times, or for certain students. Finding “just right” read aloud books is a journey. On my journey for great books, I have found excellent books and great colleagues who share this passion.
One such find is the Good to Great Voxer group. This group, of dedicated teacher readers led by Mary Howard and Amy Brennan, share passionate best practice beliefs about teaching children to read. Funny thing is strong views and collaboration can make amazing things happen.
One of those things was a “what if” challenge posed by Jan Burkins. It went something like this, “What if we created a collection of picture books that can foster student thinking.”
And the work began.
Jan culled recommendations from the group and the results, a collection of 31 short texts that can spark deep reading discussions, can be found here.
Children need access and the opportunity to engage and be engaged in books. Books that offer opportunities for students to experience reading joy while studying the craft of reading as a community. Read aloud with great books can do this.
Today, I celebrate Jan Burkins and the Good to Great Voxer group who share a passion for reading and cultivating readers.
Thank you, Ruth Ayers, for your link up to Celebrate every week.
And thank you to Two Writing Teachers Blog for the March Slice of Life Challenge. Much love to all who slice and comment every day! Happy Day 26. Find more slices here.