I do realize that there are about a million and a half blogs about why you should read aloud to your junior grade students, but hopefully having one more will drive the point home. How could I call myself someone who blogs about what they are passionate about, without including my absolute favourite time of the day? I may even like this time of the day better than community circle….(ah, wait, I don’t know…can it be a tie???)
So, why is this my favourite time of the day and why should we read aloud to junior grade students? Well that’s an easy one! Reading gives people joy. Parents reading to their kids before bed = joy; story time at the library = joy; candy stripers reading to sick or elderly patients = joy. Why should this joy only be for our littles in schools? Besides, when there are this many benefits, of course it needs to be for everybody!
Why we should read aloud to our junior grade students
read alouds Model good Reading
Kids need to hear what fluent reading sounds like. Sure, they can learn from some random YouTube video or a podcast, but the connection that they have with you is what increases learning. They want to hear you! By displaying the words on the screen, students have the opportunity to see and hear new words at the same time, building their vocabulary.
read alouds prompt deep discussion about books
What better way to show the skills that competent readers use unconsciously, then to read and discuss? Questions, predictions, inferences, you name it. Pick the right book and let the magic happen. (I will save the book recommendations for another blog).
Promoting the love of reading
How do we improve reading? We get kids to read more. How do we get them to read more? We get them to actually want to read. Reading aloud gives kids a chance to listen to a variety of different books, which can help them to decide what type of readers they are going to be.
You read the first book in a series to the class and now every kid wants to get the sequel from the library. Hook, line and sinker! 🙂
Skills for writing
Ever notice that the kids who are writers, are also readers? Clearly this is no coincidence. Model figurative language, character development, description etc. in context to build your students into writers.
most importantly the read aloud is the happiest part of the day
That isn’t even close to all of the reasons why we need to read aloud to junior grade students. The fact that the kids are getting bigger is the reason that it is so important to keep going, rather than the reason to stop.
Do you want to hear more about this? Check out the text The Artful Read Aloud: 10 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and Transform Learning by Rebecca Bellingham. I listened to it on audiobook while driving to work. I highly recommend it (it blows this blog out of the water :)!
P.S. I am not at all affiliated with the author, nor the publisher (Heinemann) and am not being paid to promote this text, I just wanted to pass along a great text that does this topic way more justice than I ever could, but in many more words. 🙂
This post was accelerated due to a conversation in a Facebook group that I am in, that was talking about school boards saying that read alouds in the junior grade classroom were inequitable and that there was talk of banning them…ummmm what??? I hope that someone who needs to read this does.