Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

Read Aloud

My favorite time of the day, hands down, is our ‘read aloud’ time.  

With the push for the “common core” (gag), we are asked now to read picture books instead of novels when we read to our kids. We’re supposed to model comprehension and all that stuff.

I haven’t gone there yet.  

I keep reading really great novels.   I love them. The kids love them.  And this is a story of how that practice has helped a child.

I had a girl in my class last year who was a “reluctant reader”.  This child was smart and capable.  But she was the only child of a Harvard librarian and a museum curator.  They are “READERS”, if you know what I mean.  These wonderfully devoted parents were absolutely determined to make a “READER” out of their girl.  They were absolutely in despair when she reached the fifth grade and continued to resist all of the great books that they brought to her.

I tried to advise them to back off.  I tried to explain that a confident, secure young woman would like very much to choose her own areas of interest.  I tried to suggest that if they backed off, she might find her way to books on her own.  

They politely ignored my suggestion.

Then came the day when one of my strong readers recommended a book for me to read aloud.  The book is called “Out of My Mind”. It’s beautiful.   The strong reader who recommended it told me that she had gotten the suggestion to read the book from my reluctant reader.

Oh, really?

As I began the book, I would refer once in a while “Those of you who have already read this book” and my reluctant reader would beam.  Gradually, over the course of the four weeks that it took me to read the book, this little girl began to think of herself as an expert on this book.  She engaged in, and even lead, several discussions about the writing, the themes, the author’s thoughts. 

It was fabulous.

As this child went on to sixth grade, I hoped that she would keep her confidence and her love of literature.

Sure enough, her sixth grade ELA teacher told me that she considers this girl to be a “very strong” reader.  She was surprised that I had ever had concerns.


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