“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.”
– Marilyn Jager Adams
Read Aloud, along with Free Reading, is a very popular class activity we do several times a week. Over the past few weeks, I have been modeling tone, timing, and how to convey nuance when reading. Now I am asking our students to give it a try with me. We began Student Read Aloud at the end of last week, and while many of our students showed concern about this activity they all showed tremendous effort in their own ways, from volunteering to read first, to injecting dramatic tone, to bravely working their way through challenging words, to being a supportive audience for their peers. I am proud of them all for rising to the challenge so naturally.
The focus of our week is to continue practicing Student Read Aloud. The aim is to immerse ourselves for a short, yet sustained period of time, so that we can temper the fear around this activity. I have already witnessed our student’s confidence rising, for example, some students chose to read one page on their turn but after a few rounds, they asked for more pages and genuinely seemed disappointed when they had to stop. These very same students were not reading “perfectly”, they still stumbled on words, but they found their flow. After only a few days of this activity, I am already so impressed with effort that our students have put forth. I can imagine a day, a few months down the road, where our students are beaming with confidence, and eventually spilling over with nuanced out loud reading.
“The more you read, the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it.”