Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reading Aloud

We use a program called Plugged-In by Janet Allen to support our teaching of reading. In this the books that are read as a whole group are read generally by a person on a CD. Immediately when I read/heard that a CD was reading to a group I felt like crying. I throughly enjoy reading to my students, with infliction, emotion, and pauses to allow us to discuss questions, thoughts and insights of the text. I asked at a training for this program if a teacher was allowed to read out-loud to students, and of course the answer was yes, with a but. The but was, your voice will be sore and it can be exhausting to do this every day for multiple periods. I just shook my head a bit and said okay. I do not find this exhausting  and I am not trying to say that I am a superwomen by any means. I think it is imperative that my students hear me reading and see what I do when I encounter words I am unsure of or that I love; that I question out loud when I am reading; that I get excited or upset when something happens to a character- basically that I love reading!

This thinking leads me to an experience that recently happened in my classroom regarding reading. I was out at a conference for a day and the substitute was asked to read aloud to the students the whole-class novel. When I returned to one of my classes the next day many students stated "I am so glad that you are back to read to us!" I asked why and the students responded with "The substitute did not read well and it was boring." Now, I questioned why this was the case as we were in a critical part of the text. The students stated that the substitute did not read with any voice, but just a monotone dribble and did not pause to interact with the text and students. Inside I was jumping up and down, finally feeling as though I had reached my students with reading. The students understood how a text should be read and when it was not interacted with, loved, and discussed in any way the love of reading can be lost. I want to thank my substitute for showing my students the difference in a passion of reading!

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