Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Read It Forward Post #1

Here I am reading to 1st and 2nd graders at Flatwoods Elementary School.
The World Read Aloud Day “Read It Forward” Blogging Challenge begins February 10 and runs through March 6. If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt or question (outlined below), for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.
Each of the prompts addresses the WRAD theme “Read It Forward.” Read it Forward describes the ripple effect of positive change that resonates around the world when we read aloud with loved ones or new friends.

Week 1: February 10 – February 16
What do you think is special about reading aloud?What makes it special is that at age 44 I can still remember the way my mother read the books, the pictures in the books, and how happy I was to hear her read to me.  I have wonderful memories of being read aloud to by my mother as a child. She was a first grade and kindergarten teacher and always read us lots of picture books. I remember The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, Make Way for Ducklings, Cat in the Hat, The Egg Tree, The Little House, Where the Wild Things Are, Stone Soup, and The Polar Express.

I think the time I remember the read aloud the most was when she read us Charlotte's Web before bed each night when I was in 4th grade and my sister was in 2nd. My mom read with such expression and all the characters had very distinctive voices. I remember the first time I saw the animated movie and how I disagreed with the voices for some of the characters. She read it a chapter at a time and I remember being very impatient for going on to the next part. I also remember being so happy that Charlotte figured out a way to save Wilbur, but then being so sad when Charlotte died.  For a long time after reading this book, I was hesitant to step on spiders because it might be one of Charlotte's children.

Reading aloud is something I believe we stop doing entirely too soon in schools today. For this reason and after discovering Donalyn Miller, the Book Whisperer, and the Twitter chat #titletalk on the last Sunday of each month, I have begun to collect picture books in earnest to read to my undergraduate and graduate education students.  Here is a list of some of my favorite read alouds:
  • The Dot by Peter Reynolds
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
  • Goldilocks and the One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson
  • It's a Book by Lane Smith
  • Goodnight, iPad by Ann Droid
  • 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter
  • One by Kathryn Otoshi
  • You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown
  • Dude, Fun with Dude and Betty by Lisa Pliscou
  • Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
  • The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Palacco
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
My students will ask "Where is our book?" if they don't see me carry one in. I have had to go back to my office to get one on such occasions.  I have also been asked by students to give them a list of the books I read so they can start collecting them for their classroom libraries.  I am not sure that my read aloud technique is as good as my mom's, but I am learning and I do it at least twice a week and sometimes more.

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