The Power of the Read Aloud

photo credit: crazyluca69 via photopin cc

Something pretty amazing happened in my classroom last week. Everyday since the start of school I have read to my students at least 2 – 4 times per day. I have made a point to share my favourite books, funny books, sad books and even poetry to my class.  I love reading and I want that to be apparent to my students. (Our poetry read aloud lead to an impromptu whole class exploration of our library’s poetry collection!)  Whenever students would ask to read I’d let them have a chance to make their voice heard and to share their favourite books with the class. I practiced with those that needed practice before reading to us.

At the beginning of last week I put a little sign on the board saying “I’d like to read aloud to the class”. Without any instructions my students started signing up. By the end of the first day I had 8/13 students sign up to read to the class. One of my shyest students who is also a struggling reader was one of the first to sign up.

He practiced reading the book to me a few times before his big moment. When his time came, he sat down and started reading to the class. At a few points he struggled on some of the words but he did not falter. Rather his classmates next to him helped him out while the rest listened on attentively. As he read on I could see him swell up with pride, this was a big moment for him. I could not be prouder of his courage to read to us and of how supportive his classmates were. It truly was an amazing moment.

Our list remains full this week and I hope to keep it going throughout the year. I can’t wait to see the growth and joy that sharing in our community will bring in the months to come.

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