My first few years teaching I wanted to include classroom read alouds with my students, but made the mistake of reading only “when we had time.” It turned out, we very rarely had time, and it took us forever to finish a book. Without regularly reading to students, I noticed students lost interest.
Now, I intentionally make time for classroom read alouds in my schedule every day. It ends up being one of my (and my students’) favorite times of the day. One year, on the first day of school, one of my students asked, “You are the teacher who loves reading books to the class, right?” I couldn’t think of a better thing to be known for.
Read aloud will always have a permanent place in my lesson plans. I would encourage you to block out reading time, too, if you haven’t already. Here are just some of the reasons I love read alouds with my students.
Classroom Read Alouds for Building Class Community
Read alouds can also be carefully selected to create a class community. At the beginning of the year we like to pick picture books that focus on kindness and the growth mindset. This helps us have something to refer back to throughout the year.
Class community will naturally grow as we talk about the books that we read, and refer back to them time and time again. Since we all have these shared stories, it is easy to make connections everyone understands. Especially when we read novels, we grow connected to the characters as a class. We love talking about what we’ve read and making predictions.
Classroom Read Alouds as a Natural Extension of your Lessons
Often, I pick my read aloud book to compliment whatever we are learning about. For instance, when we were learning about the phases of the moon in science, I picked different books with a space theme. This helps get some extra science time in and also helps engage my students. You can select classroom read alouds that match any subject area which creates a nice extension to any lesson.
In addition, I think about the reading or writing skills we are working on for our ELA instruction. I like to point out different aspects I see from our book. I don’t have students provide any written work for classroom read alouds because I want the purpose to be to enjoy reading, but we do have discussions based on these skills. This is a time I model “reading like an author” and we discuss a lot about writers’ craft and decisions such as word choice.
If I am reading a picture book, I usually display it through a projector for students to see the pictures as we read. One of my favorite ways to read pictures book is by selecting a book from each state. When we do this, it is also a perfect time to look for spelling patterns that match any phonics skill we are learning. We love to record any of the spelling patterns we find throughout the day.
Classroom Read Alouds to Develop a Love of Reading
There is nothing better than seeing students flock to the library. The librarian tells me she can always tell when I start a new novel with my students because they want to read the other books in the series. Sometimes I read the second book in a series to my students, too. To see their pure joy and excitement at the start of the next book is priceless!
One of my favorite things is when I see students talking about the books amongst themselves. When they start recommending books to each other, our reading community really takes off! I believe that enjoying reading together is the best way to get students to love reading!
Now that classroom read alouds are on your lesson plans, click here to read about different read aloud routines.
I would love to hear: What do you think is the best impact daily classroom read alouds have on your students?