Monday, September 6, 2010

Read Alouds

I recently finished Ric Riordan's The Lightning Thief. Fantastic book! I'm teaching Grade 5/6 this year - 10 & 11 year olds. I think this book will make a fabulous read aloud for them.

I also read Ranger's Apprentice Book 1: Ruins of Gorlon this summer. Another great choice for read aloud!

No matter what grade I teach, I always read aloud to the kids for pleasure. Each class has their own favourites and I've had students come and talk to me years later about their favourite books. In grade 8 I usually read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and I've had so many kids come back to tell me they continued to read her stuff.


When I read The Outsiders, there's never a dry eye in the house when Johnny dies. Total silence. Heartbreak. Devastation. And every single kid will look for another book to give them a similar emotional impact.

This past year the favourite book by far was The Giver. Sometimes it's Underground to Canada, Maniac Magee, Hatchet, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Invitation to the Game or...

None of my teachers ever read a book out loud when I was in school and I think those teachers missed a great opportunity. Kids are so engaged when I'm reading - they love that time of day. It's one of the best ways to create readers and writers. And thinkers.

Did your teachers read aloud to you? Did you enjoy it? What was your favourite book?

156 comments:

  1. My sixth grade teacher read Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to us...only I got impatient so I went to the library over the weekend and checked it out so I could keep readin! hahahah

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  2. You are so right, Jemi! Kids love to be read to - even my high school students. I read aloud to my classes every year. I don't think they ever get too old for it.

    My 6th grade teacher read The Great Brain books to us. Oh, how I loved him! :-)

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  3. I had teachers that read to the class until 4th grade. That was the year that Ms. Kingston read Charlotte's Web to us. I looked forward to every daily installment and nearly cried at the end. I don't recall any teachers reading to the class in any years after that.
    I used to read to my daughters nearly every night before bedtime when they were growing up. They loved it. I would tend to read somewhat advanced books to them at times, though suitable for children to hear. I didn't much like the kiddie books except when they were very small.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  4. I had a teacher who did, my favorite was "born bear brown bear what do you see" and now I read that to my kids. :)

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  5. S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders is my BIBLE!! :-) It's what made me dream of writing!! :-)

    I can't recall teachers ever reading out to me but I do know we spent a few hours in the school library!

    Take care
    x

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  6. Reading aloud to your class is such a great thing to do, Jemi. There would be the kids who don't need it, but it would sure help develop a love for books in the others.

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  7. I don't recall a teacher reading a book out loud. That would have been great. I think you're right, they missed a great opportunity by not reading to the class. You are the best teacher.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  8. Wow, I love that cover for The Lightning Thief. It's different than what I have. My teachers did read to me. The one I remember the most: The Indian in the Cupboard. It must've just come out or something, because we read it in 4th and 5th grade.

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  9. I think it's awesome that you read to the older kids too. I don't remember any teachers reading aloud to the class after about 3rd grade.

    Happy Back to School time! :)

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  10. What a fine teacher you are! I can't imagine anything better than a teacher introducing students to the wonder of books. You're showing them new worlds and ideas, along with the words.

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  11. Vicki - that's awesome! I wouldn't be surprised if some of my kids did the same thing! :)

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  12. Shannon - I agree!

    I don't know the Great Brain books - I'm going to have to look them up! Thanks for the tip :)

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  13. My 11th grade teacher is the one who taught me to love reading and writing. She read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye and also Macbeth. I learned a lot from her and to this day I am thankful for it!

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  14. Lee - Charlotte's Web is a perreniel favourite isn't it? Lots of tears spilled over that one!!

    I like to read aloud at a slightly more advanced level than they can read by themselves. That pushes them to want to read stronger books.

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  15. Summer - I love Brown Bear - those repeating phrases are so much fun for kids. One year I had my students make books for their little reading buddies based on that book. They loved it!

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  16. Old Kitty - The Outsiders is such a powerful book - SE Hinton did such a good job of capturing emotions. My kids always love it. :)

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  17. Rayna - I love doing it! I have hundreds of novels in my classroom and the kids love helping me decide what to read next. It's great being able to explain to them what makes a good read aloud and watch them analyze for themselves. :)

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  18. Mason - thanks - you're such a sweetie! Reading is truly a passion for me. It's one of the reasons I became a teacher in the first place. Even die-hard "I hate reading" kids end up finding books they love before a few months are out.

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  19. Elana - I'd forgotten completely about the Indian in the Cupboard! I read that one ages ago - I'll have to check it out again. :)

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  20. Thanks Lola! I'm excited! Silly but I don't sleep much the night before school even now. It's so much fun meeting the new kids and starting things off :)

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  21. Thanks Tricia - thanks! I read avidly as a kid, but I bet more kids would have become readers if more teachers had read good books to us!

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  22. Hi Jemi! I love the read aloud. I don't specifically recall titles from this experience, but I vividly remember loving that part of the school day. I head back to school tomorrow. Wish me luck-- grade 1, 6-7 year olds!

    Marissa

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  23. Jen - To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time faves!! :) I loved MacBeth as well, but don't remember actually reading Catcher. I should pick it up.

    It's so nice to hear how influential your teacher was! :)

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  24. Marissa - That's so nice to hear. :)

    And GOOD LUCK!! 6 & 7 year olds are a little scary at the first part of the year. They're just so little! Have fun :)

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  25. My grandson Harry enjoys being read to though he can read himself. I loved books myself as a child if I wasn't playing the piano I was reading,

    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  26. Yvonne - that's awesome. I think most kids enjoy being read to - they enjoy the stories & adventures. I don't think they've learned to turn off those imaginations yet :)

    I played the piano too - although not always well. I loved listening to my sister practice though - she could play!

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  27. Jemi, I love being read to.
    My favorite book is The Little Prince.

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  28. Agnes - it is wonderful isn't it?

    I've never actually read the Little Prince, although I've certainly heard about it. I think I even have a copy in my classroom - I'll have to check it out!

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  29. What a fantastic idea! I wish my teachers had read aloud to me. Maybe I'd be more used to focus my attention on the hearing now. Besides, it sounds really fun!

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  30. My fifth grade teacher read aloud to us though I can't remember what books she read. I loved it as did the entire class. Though I can't remember the material I still think of her as my all time favorite teacher. Bless those elementary teachers. I teach high school and some people think it's difficult to work with teenagers though I love it. I think the most difficult thing in education has to be teaching children to read and after that to love it.

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  31. Oh yes, my teachers did read out loud when I was in elemetary school (at St. Rapheal's in Burlington, Ontario). I met an elementary school librarian recently who reads to the classes in her school (Beverly Cleary still a popular request for the young ones). I hope you never stop, Jemi! I believe it helps non-readers to get reading too.

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  32. Thanks Mari - I think it is really fun. The kids love it - and I get to introduce books they might not otherwise get to know! :)

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  33. Susan - I'm qualified to teach high school as well, but I chose elementary because I liked the thought of teaching everything :) I wouldn't mind doing high school English, but that would not do good things for my seniority!

    I think almost all kids who leave my class enjoy books - some can't read well on their own, but they keep working at it!

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  34. Lynn - totally agree! I've taught so many kids with learning differences and all kinds of special needs. They may never be able to physically read to their interest level, but they'll learn (hopefully) that listening to a book can be just as enjoyable. I love how many audio books are out and about now!

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  35. My son LOVED The Lightning Thief series. So did most of his fifth-grade class. So his teacher did a unit on Greece, even though they normally learn it in the 6th-grade. They even did a spoof play on the story of Troy.

    I've read most of the books on your list, and loved them all.

    My teachers read aloud through fourth-grade, and that was it. I'd continue to read aloud in middle school, if I taught those grades. I think it's a great idea.

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  36. I have a memory of lots of reading aloud in grade school and it was a complete treat. Sadly I don't remember any specific book, but I loved it. What a treat for your students, but having you as their teacher is a treat, anyway. They are very lucky.

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  37. Theresa - She sounds like an awesome teacher! Once the kids get into something, it's so easy & fun to roll with it! :)

    I'm crossing my fingers for you to get a full time soon - you so deserve it and I think you'd be fabulous!

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  38. Buttercup - awwww - thanks so much :)

    I think we need to encourage kids to use their imaginations more. We don't want to produce robots and as Einstein said, "Imagination is more powerful than knowledge". Love that quote!

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  39. My 4th grade teacher read a book called "On the Run" about Irish war for independence. She read as a reward but the book opened a whole new world for a lot of us.
    Keep up the great work.

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  40. Mary - I've never heard of that book. I'll have to look it up. It's amazing what discussions come from reading aloud. The Giver last year ignited so many conversations! It was wonderful. :)

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  41. We were always read aloud to in school. We used to sit on a green carpet and the teacher would read various books to us. I always loved story time. :)

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  42. Lindsay - I wish my teachers had done that! I don't remember much about kindergarten so it might have happened there, but I don't think any of my teachers were inclined to read to us. Sad.

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  43. No they didn't. We did this thing were everyone would read a paragraph aloud. It was too disjointed that way and the meaning lost. I think it is wonderful you read aloud to your students.

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  44. Holly - that would be awful! Not only because it would totally mess up the flow, but for the kids! I never insist anyone read aloud without practising it first! That's a lot of stress on those poor kids.

    We do enjoy the time - it's a lot of fun!

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  45. OMG YES, reading aloud is a really great way to engage kids! I loved it when my mother did that for us. Even if you (general you not YOU) don't want to, audio books are a great way to go. My kids LOVE listening to Harry Potter. The reader is amazing, and I enjoy it too!

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  46. Lisa - I really do enjoy it and I think the kids do too. Audio books are so awesome - we've got quite a few in the school. The kids just pick up the disc-man and read at their desks :)

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  47. I really didn't like being read to at school - my mind would always wander and I would remember anything.
    When I did a course when I was 26 we'd start each day with a book - my lecturer never finished the book and I wondered how it finished - so I recently (10 years later) borrowed it from the library.
    One of my girls seems to fague out when I read now -guess she's a little like me.

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  48. Michelle - there are some kids who don't enjoy it - or just can't focus because their auditory skills aren't as strong. I think that's pretty normal - we are all different after all! :)

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  49. I do sort of remember teachers reading aloud to us kids. But my parents read tonnes to us so that was the main thing. And I read aloud to my sons and then listened to my sweet patootie read to his kids in his fantastic low reading voice! I would be reading The Golden Compass aloud to your kids if I could! Also, although my step-son and I are often at loggerheads one of my favourite memories was when he was sick and I read a section of The Cloud Atlas aloud to him. He was fifteen I think. He and I both loved it...
    reading to lovers is a nice activity that people don't do much anymore. Or having them read to you. Yes, all heaven!

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  50. I want to read Lightening Thief. Yes, I loved when my teachers read to us, no matter what age.

    Teresa

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  51. Jan - totally agree! I read a lot to our kids when they were young too. They both loved it but only one grew up to be a reader. The Golden Compass is such a good book!! :)

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  52. Teresa - I wish our teachers had read. You get exposed to so many more styles of books when it happens. It's one of my favourite parts of the day :)

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  53. Several of my teachers read out loud to the class. I liked The Mouse and the Motorcycle best.

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  54. You are such a cool teacher!! Yes, Lightening Thief will be a great read aloud! I wish there were more teachers like you, kids learn a love of books at a young age. I had one teacher read to me - I'm not even sure which grade - but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started me on a lifetime of reading.

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  55. Alex - The Mouse & The Motorcycle is awesome - several of my kids have read that one :)

    I'm so glad you had teachers who read to you!

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  56. Thanks Terry :)

    I love Charlie - it's such a great story - and the artwork adds to it too. Dahl created a masterpiece with that one.

    I'm excited about reading Lightning Thief - the only thing that will change my mind is if too many of the kids have already read it. I like to read something fresh for everyone :)

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  57. It's been a long time, but I don't remember my teachers reading aloud to us in class. They seem to do things a lot different now than they used to.

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  58. Jemi - stress is right. I remember counting the kids before me, counting paragraphs, and trying to read it quickly for new words or strange sentence. I panicked about sounded goofy when it was my turn so I always ended up sounding goofy. It’s funny now but not then. It was miserable.

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  59. Jemi,
    I think it's wonderful that you read aloud to your kids. It's my favorite memory from grade school. And the one I remember the most is Island of the Blue Dolphins. I was completely captivated. To this day I remember sitting spellbound in my desk. The Giver was great. Remember our discussion? That was fun and enhanced my understanding of the various undercurrents in that masterpiece of YA literature. It remains one of my favorites recently read.

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  60. I've never actually read the Little Prince, although I've certainly heard about it. I think I even have a copy in my classroom - I'll have to check it out!

    Your response csught my eye. I first read Le Petit Prince in French when I was in college. It is such a beautiful story--magical and poignant. Later I bought a copy in English that I used to read frequently to my son when he was little. You must check this book out.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  61. Janet - I agree. Everything has changed a lot. I think research has played a big role in this. We know so much more about how the brain works and how kids learn now. :)

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  62. Holly - I can't imagine teachers doing that! I'd have probably fainted I was so shy! All my kids learn to speak and read in front of an audience but never without lots of rehearsal time!

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  63. Yvonne - we sure had fun with that Giver conversation! There are so many nuances in that book! What a masterpiece :)

    I adore Island of the Blue Dolphins. It's such a good book. I haven't read it aloud for a few years - might be time to dust it off again!

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  64. Lee - after both of you recommending it, I most definitely will check it out. I remember a small hard cover (white background) all the words in black and the sketches in red. I'll have to see if I've still got that copy. :)

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  65. YES! My teachers read aloud to us and it was wonderful - my favorite part of the school day. It encouraged me to read. Madeleine L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME was my favorite. Don't ever stop reading to your students, Jemi.

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  66. VR - I love A Wrinkle in Time!! Such a fun book. That's another one I could put on this year's list... although I've already got a few fantasy books going. Hmm...

    L'Engle is another genius! Love her work.

    I don't think I could stop reading - the kids wouldn't let me :)

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  67. One of my good friends teaches 3rd grade at my daughter's school and my two favorite things about the way she teaches is a) she has a piano in her class and uses it well to help the kids learn and b) she reads aloud to them. I hope my daughter gets her next year because of the wonderful person and teacher she is!

    Have a great week, Jemi! Keep reading to those kiddos. It makes such a difference!

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  68. I loved read alouds when I was in elementary school- Redwall was one of my favorites.

    The Lightening Thief is awesome- you'll probably enjoy the rest of the series too. And I loved And Then There Were None when I was a teen- great mystery!

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  69. I will never forget my teacher reading aloud, ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME, MARGARET. It's such a great thing you're doing for your students.

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  70. I specifically remember my third grade teacher Mrs. Pearson reading Charlotte's web to us. And my seventh grade teacher reading Jaws, although she did skip a few inappropiate sections for a public school setting.

    Stephen Tremp

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  71. Reading aloud to students is also a great way to model reading performance style for them. i teach high school and read books to my class, then when they hear my enthusiasm, they volunteer to read and express a lot.more emotional range. Today I had five classes reading various novels - so I'm a little horse tonight :-)

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  72. Definitely a great opportunity. Our teacher used to read to us during lunch break. It was awesome. She had one story, however, that she never could read because it was so sad. And yet she badly wanted to share it with her students. So instead she made one of the students read it. I remember being pretty proud when I was asked to read an entire story in front of the class!

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  73. Jackee - that's wonderful!

    I was lucky enough to have a piano in my room a few times, but there are just too many kids in my class at this school. I love having the option to teach them some skills there!

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  74. Stephanie - I love Redwall - I've got 8 or 9 of the series in my room. It's such a fun series. I actually hadn't considered reading it aloud though - they're all quite long. I'll have to reconsider that! :)

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  75. Carol - awww, Judy Blume! She's written so many great books for both kids and teens. So much fun! :)

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  76. Stephen - Jaws? That's awesome!! There's a teacher willing to take a risk! I bet the whole class enjoyed it :)

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  77. Charmaine - I bet you are! I'm so glad to hear of a high school teacher reading aloud. I don't think it's done enough. Kids definitely become more expressive after they hear me reading aloud too :)

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  78. Cruella - that's awesome! I bet you were thrilled to have the honour. There are some books I can't read aloud either - too sad and I cry every time I read them :)

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  79. It's so great that you read to your kids!

    My teachers didn't read to us. Too bad. I would have liked it and it must be a nice break for the kids from the pressures of the school day. I'll bet they love it:)

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  80. Interesting post. I believe I remember going to the library in elementary school and the librarian read aloud to us. I also know my BFF who's a 3rd grade teacher, reads to her kids too. I think it's a great thing ;o) Glad you are doing it!

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  81. I loved it when my teacher read aloud to the class! And oh, Underground to Canada... you brought back so many memories with that one!

    Thanks so much for joining in with my Take on Amazon Blogsplash, by the way! Really appreciate your help! I'm still trying to find the answer to your Kindle question - I asked my editor today and she wasn't sure...

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  82. I don't remember having a teacher read out loud, except one who had the most obnoxious voice ever (which didn't do much for loving to be read to), but your post made me think of the way I read poetry. I've just gotten into reading poetry (thanks in large part to Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater) and I find it impossible to read poetry silently. Aloud, the words dance more, the tone, the cadence, basically what makes me love poetry is brought out by reading aloud. There is great power there and I'm glad you are sharing it with kids. :)

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  83. Almost every book you mentioned is a favorite. A teacher read Number the Stars aloud when I was a kid. I remember being changed by the experience. I read WWII books for the next several years and I cried a lot over the suffering of people during that time.

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  84. My fourth grade and fifth grade teachers used to read aloud to us and it was always my favorite part of the day. I still remember the books we read and I wish more teachers did it. Kudos to you :)

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  85. Hi Jemi - I love reading aloud too. Right now I'm reading a Stink book to my 7year old. We love it. Question though: Do you cry when you read an emotional part? I struggle with that. I don't want to. I want to read and give the impact without crying. Maybe I should practice. What do you think?

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  86. Oh, MY! had to scroll for an hour to get to the post spot! Good sign, girl!!

    You are my heroine for your teaching of reading.

    GO, GIRL!!!!
    Patti
    P.S. I still like to read aloud my work. There's something about the rhythm...

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  87. Some of my kid's teachers read to them and I think it's fantastic! (and you've just reminded me I need to read the Outsiders!!)

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  88. I loved reading as a child, but I don't remember any of my teachers reading to us past fifth grade. But no worries, I was already hooked on the written word:)

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  89. Love read alouds--the kids mostly seem to enjoy it (it's always the ones who look like they're asleep who actually are the most into it & clamor for more!). OUTSIDERS is a huge fave (we do that in 7th gr). FREAK THE MIGHTY's awesome, too. I haven't decided what I'm reading aloud to them this year, yet. Hummm.

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  90. Terry - I think they do love it. It's such a relaxing part of the day - as you say no stress for them. I wish my teachers had read to us :)

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  91. Erica - we didn't have a librarian when I was growing up. It would have been nice! I think it's good for kids :)

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  92. Talli - thanks! Underground to Canada is one of my absolute faves - such a powerful book!

    No rush on the Kindle answer - lots of time yet :)

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  93. Julie - you're so right!! Poetry does come alive when it's read out loud. I love doing poetry units with my kids. They always think it's going to be awful but then they love it :)

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  94. Natalie - Number the Stars in another great one! Our grade 4 teacher reads that one to the kids. They really love it. Lowry really has a magical way with words. :)

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  95. Tiana - I wish my teahcers had. I loved books anyway but I think I would have found even more genres and authors to enjoy. :)

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  96. RaShelle - I most definitely have to practice. Reading the Outsiders is tough - my voice always gets shaky but I'm usually able to keep back the tears.

    Searching for David's Heart is a wonderful book with all kinds of messages I'd love to share with the kids, but I can't do it aloud because I sob!

    I think it's good for the kids to see my emotions, but I don't want to lose control either :) I want the kids to know the books impact me, make me feel. That way they know it's okay!

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  97. Patti - I tend to read my stuff out loud as well. There really is something about hearing the words that makes the story impact differently.

    Thanks - you're such a sweetie! :)

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  98. Susan - I love the Outsiders! It's such a powerful story of family and friendship and being true to yourself. So many layers. :) I'm glad to hear more teachers are reading!

    Thanks for dropping by :)

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  99. Tamika - thankfully you were hooked! I wish all kids would be, but some still find it such a struggle at that age. I hope by my reading they'll find some joy in it for themselves.

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  100. Mary - Freak the Mighty is so good! It's always such fun to choose the book to match the class. I can't wait to get to know them a little better so I can choose. :)

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  101. Hey Jemi,

    If memory serves, I believe Hinton wrote "Outsiders," while still a high school teenager. She went with S.E., rather than a first name, to prevent anyone from knowing that she was a female writing of gangster violence, something females back then weren't supposed to know anything about.

    It's been a long time, but I think that's the story behind the story:)

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  102. Elliot - I've read or heard that too. Isn't it bizarre how people have to hide who they are for such silly reasons. She did a great job - the book has heart!

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  103. Oh this post spoke to me as a past teacher. I read aloud EVERY day to my students and it was by far their favorite part of class. One of my favorites was THINGS NOT SEEN by Andrew Clements--really made the kids think and I absolutely love THE GIVER and BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. One of the most powerful teaching tools for struggling readers is reading aloud while students have a copy of the book. I did this my first year teaching a reading class (because, honestly, I didn't know how else to teach!) and one of the student's moms approached me at the end of the year. She said, "Danny could not read and now he can. What did you do?" I read aloud all year while the kids followed along. That is all. And I love it too--I do different voices and everything! I miss that...

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  104. LiLa - it is such a great thing to do with kids, isn't it? :)

    I do the voices and tones as well - it's so much fun! I only have one 'class set' of books, but I do have a few extra copies of most of the ones I read. I'll have to distribute those copies as needed. I love Danny's story :)

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  105. I didn't have a teacher that did that, but I read aloud to my daughters sixth grade class way back when. The teacher got a break but I got the best part of it all. Maybe I should volunteer to do that again.

    I found you though Helen, she passed the sweet bear to me.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  106. Nancy - What a great idea! I bet the kids loved it as much as you did! Hearing someone read a story they enjoy is its own piece of magic :)

    So nice to meet you - Helen is a doll, isn't she?

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  107. Ohh...Jemi, you must have be a favorit teacher of your student...
    I remember, when i'm still a little it's very excited when hearing our teacher's loudly voice when tell us a story..

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  108. Nensa - you're so sweet!

    I do think most kids enjoy the read aloud time. They enjoy those adventures that are just a little bit above their actual reading level.

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  109. I loved being read to! It's so awesome that you do that. It was always such a great way for me to discover new books and my own personal tastes.

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  110. Tamara - That's what I'm hoping. Most kids wouldn't pick up the Giver or Underground to Canada on their own, but they love them once I start reading! :)

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  111. Yes. I remember my 4th grade teacher reading Danny the Champion of the World. And I loved it.

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  112. My teachers never read to me either, but my children's teachers read to my kids. I'm so grateful for that. Your students are lucky. I'd love to hear you read a book aloud. Have a great week.

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  113. TOTALLY! I remember my 5th grade teacher reading to us Stephen King's CUJO (because she was reading it and we asked her to read it to us)
    We LOVED it! (Of course, she omitted the bad words and such as she read) LOL

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  114. I had a 5th Grade teacher that read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe out loud. I devoured every word. I bought the series. Then I went home and read them out loud to my dolls and stuffed animals. I did that a lot!

    I was sitting in the hallway on a break between classes reading The Lightening Thief and a little voice said, "I read that book! It's my favorite!" I looked up to see a 2nd grader with a huge smile on his face. Then he frowned and said, "But aren't you too old to read it?" He suddenly wasn't as cute anymore.

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  115. My teachers never read aloud to me (not that I can remember) but I have always read aloud to my kids. I recently finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my seven year old - he loved it, although some elements of it were still a bit old for him.

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  116. No idea if my teachers read aloud to me. I never listened.

    I'd stare at them and see their lips a-moving, but I didn't hear a word they said. My parents and teachers thought I was deaf. Seriously. Had me tested and everything, moved to the front of the class beneath the teacher's nose. (this is why I'm divorced, you know, works the same with teachers and wives...)

    Later, after they finally shut up and I could concentrate, I'd read through whatever it was they were babbling on about and get through it in a 1/4 the time. I sorta wish they'd all have just given me a reading list in K and said, Here, Eric, figure all this out. You got 12 years.

    I would've knocked it out in 6 years and spent the other 6 doing stuff outside, probably camping a lot.

    OCD is a powerful weapon, when used for good and not evil.

    Anyway. I don't recall the teachers reading much. Mostly they just threw erasers at me (true story) for not listening or for tapping too much.

    Ironically, till college when I boycotted homework because it's a waste of time (just gimme the test and let me go on to the next class!), I always was at the top of the class.

    That homework grade is 10% of your course in college! I had to make like 95+ on the tests to keep a B average. Sucks.

    Plus there's so much beer in college. And girls.

    But mostly beer.

    - Eric

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  117. Laura - I've never actually read Danny, although I do have it in the classroom. I'll have to check that one out! Thanks :)

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  118. Thanks Roxy - we started Ranger's Apprentice today and even though the first chapter has a lot of info right off the bat, they're into it! :)

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  119. Jennifer - that's awesome!! I bet everyone loved it. That's a pretty amazing teacher you had! :)

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  120. Jennie - that's hilarious! Grade 2 kids are not know for their tact are they? :)

    Lewis is always another favourite for read alouds. He's soooooo popular. I love that you read the books out loud again later - that's awesome!!

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  121. Belle - I always enjoyed reading aloud with my kids as well. They loved it.

    Charlie is such a universal story - I think you can read it at so many different ages and get so many different things out of it.

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  122. Eric - you totally crack me up!

    Although it's really not funny how little help & teaching you actually got. I hope things are better now in school. Some kids don't have the ability to learn by listening. Yes, we have to help them improve at it and not give up on it completely, but we also have to accommodate them so they learn in the best way possible. Other wise it's frustrating for everyone concerned.

    Everyone should be able to enjoy school - I hate it when I hear about people who just filled in the required time.

    I'm with you on the homework issue too. For some kids just surviving the day in school is enough work - no need for more!

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  123. I was a weird kid who didn't like to be read to after the age of seven or eight or so. I read faster than others read aloud and I was always in a hurry. But I love the idea, I'm sure I'm the lone wierdo out there! :)

    I also read The Lightning Thief and thought it was a great book - lots of fun. My SIL is a teacher and all her kids (5th graders) LOVE it. She's the one who made me want to read it.

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  124. Guinevere - not weird at all! People without strong auditory learning styles probably don't like it much at all. I prefer to read aloud than to be read to myself. I'm not great at audio books.

    Ric Riordan amazes me - those books are fabulous!! :)

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  125. I love that you teach 10 and 11 year olds. My twins are 10 and in 5th grade! It's awesome that you still read out loud to the kids, fostering a love of great stories.

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  126. Julie - that's awesome - it's such a fun age!! We can really get into so many awesome discussions. They're becoming so aware of the world and their connection to it. :)

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  127. It probably goes without saying that we read and read and read aloud to our kids down here in first grade. ;) I do a few daily picture book read alouds and we always have an ongoing chapter book. My kids' favorites are usually Charlotte's Web, The Hundred Dresses, The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I also still read aloud all the time to my own third grader. We often alternate chapters at night.

    You mentioned some books that I LOVE... The Giver, And Then There Were None... my third grader is very into Greek mythology and wants to begin The Lightning Thief (I have them all here on the shelf, taunting her, poor thing) but I haven't read them yet and although she's an excellent reader, I'm not sure if they are appropriate for her. I've heard maybe the first one is, but they become more mature like the HP books? Will have to read and decide.

    I have to laugh, thinking back - I had a "gifted" class teacher who read to us all the time, and I HATED it. His voice just didn't do justice to the words, or he didn't emote well, or it's just not how I heard the books in my own head. I don't know. But I was not a fan. I'm sure listening to a writerly type reading is a whole different ballgame! :)

    I will have to check out some of the books you named that I haven't read!

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  128. Lindsey - your comment made me laugh. I've worked with a couple of different teachers who are the WORST read-alouders I've ever heard! One yawns every couple of minutes no matter what book he reads. The other reads in a complete monotone. Horrible!!!

    I think you really have to love books - not just read aloud because you're supposed too! It shows if you don't love it.

    There are so many fabulous books for your grade level. I use picture books with my kids as well because I love them! And they're great for showcasing different aspects of both reading and writing. Plot development is a snap with most of them!

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  129. Sadly, I can’t remember a teacher who read aloud to us… I agree with you Jemi- they missed a great opportunity!
    My grandmother used to do that when I was a child and I loved it...

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  130. Reading out loud is so valuable in developing a love of books and reading. How is it that teachers of young children think not reading is a good idea?

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  131. Lua - I really do think all teachers should do it! I'm glad you had a grandmother who enjoyed reading to you - so important :)

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  132. Al - I wish I knew the answer. I think teachers of the youngest kids do it a lot, but as the kids get older, they drop it. I wish they wouldn't. Some of the kids who'd moved from other schools thought it was odd when I read to them yesterday - but they enjoyed it too :)

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  133. I can't believe your teachers didn't read to you! Mine always did, and I agree . . . my favorite part of the day! Glad to hear you still do it.

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  134. who can remember books from 300 years past? lol

    but yeah, we had a few classes of teachers reading aloud, in the niagara area...

    i read to my kids daily, before they even started school, and played music as well....

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  135. Janet - I know! It seems so obvious that it's the right thing to do. I don't know why no one ever did!

    There were groans today when I finished the chapter - they can't wait to see what happens next! :)

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  136. Wolf - :) I bet it's a little more recent than that!

    I always read to my kids as well when they were little - we group read too for years.

    The music is a great thing to do daily with kids. Mine were addicted to so many songs :)

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  137. Aw, I remember when we were little how we would all set in a circle and the teacher would read aloud. Good times. :)

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  138. Kimberly - it's such a wonderful feeling isn't it? I love reading with the kids! :)

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  139. I don't recall them doing so but I know that I certainly did LOTS of read alouds as a home educator! Especially with my youngest for whom reading was a struggle! And while he doesn't enjoy reading to this day ... he LOVES being read to and maintains an Audible subscription so he can keep a ready supply of audio books!

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  140. Beth - that's awesome! It's wonderful how many audio books they make now - they've become really popular. Before you stood out if you listened to a book - now it's normal. LOVE it! You've given your son a great gift!

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  141. Those books look amazing! I want to read the Lightning Thief :) I loved being read aloud to, but I like reading aloud better.

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  142. I remember hearing the Harry Huggins series and Willy Wonka books.

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  143. Julie - they are fantastic books!! I actually prefer to read aloud as well. My learning style is NOT auditory at all! :)

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  144. Diane - I don't know the Harry Huggins books at all. I'll have to check those out :) Love Willy Wonka!

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  145. I don't remember a teacher ever reading aloud in class.

    Rick Riordan is a really nice guy. He also writes terrific YA books.

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  146. Helen - I wish more teachers would read - it's such a good time!

    Ric's books are wonderful - glad to hear he is too! :)

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  147. I don't remember if any of my teachers read to us . . . beyond picture books. I know my kids' teachers did last year.

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  148. Stina - I don't even remember picture books - but I'm really hoping someone read those to us!

    My mom read a lot which was great though.

    Glad to hear your kids' teachers are reading!

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  149. I read aloud to my kids too! And i love being read aloud to. I get my partner to do it. He usually falls asleep before me thought, midsentence. So cute.

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  150. Susie - Good to hear! :)

    That's adorable! My hubby isn't a reader at all and would never do that - I think I'm jealous! :)

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  151. No, none of my teachers read aloud. But The Outsiders was my favorite back then and now my daughters have/are studying it and love it. They aren't 'readers' like their mom, but when something catches their interest, they try to find other books like it.

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  152. We can't get Underground to Canada any more in Britain - it's out of print. But I remember teaching it when I first started teaching (about 8 years ago) and loved it. A great story.

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  153. Cinette - The Outsiders is a great read! I find Outsiders is one of those books that often makes readers out of non-readers. I'm glad your daughters are enjoying it! Thanks so much for dropping by :)

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  154. Fran - That's too bad - it's such a great book. I usually have split grades so I have several kids 2 years in a row. Because of that, I only read it every second year - the kids always love it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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  155. I have fond memories of my 10th grade English teacher reading excerpts to me. I found it peaceful.

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  156. Medeia - I didn't have any teachers who read in high school. They made us take turns reading Shakespeare aloud (which didn't do much for poor William's words) but that was it. :)

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