Thursday, March 8, 2012

World Read Aloud Day 2012 Recap!

It was quite an experience to wake up to Twitter being abuzz with everyone talking about World Read Aloud Day today! How amazing to be part of something happening all around the world! 


One of my favorite books about reading aloud is Mem Fox's Reading Magic. It's a great book for parents to read about the benefits of and tips for reading aloud. When people are asked what they remember most about reading growing up or about how they became readers today, it seems that most people respond by explaining how they loved snuggling up with their parents and a book. The experience of read aloud is just as important as reading the book aloud!

Mem Fox writes, “…children need to know that they’re loved by their parents. No matter how much they are loved by their grandparents, nannies, or others, the love children crave most is the love of their parents. And parents can show that love by giving children time – it may be as little as fifteen minutes a day – to read aloud together, to talk to each other, and to bond.”

She shares seven things to do with your voice to keep your listener engaged:

Yesterday, I read Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett to two classes. 
The kids were so proud to come up with the word generous to describe Anabelle and they were all in shock when the archduke came into the story. Afterwards, I gave them a glass jar wearing a sweater that I crocheted. (Doesn't it look just like something Anabelle would knit!?!) 
I also booktalked Wonder by RJ Palacio and donated a copy to each of the classes' libraries. I asked them to make sure they let me know if they read Wonder because I want to know what they think.
Lots of hands shot up to tell me about books they have read that reminded them of Wonder. We could have gone on talking books forever. It was fun to be a guest reader in their classes.

With state testing and reading in classes, I only saw one student one-on-one today. Of course, I read aloud to her, too. She is currently reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins so I asked her if I could read it aloud to her. We tried to really imagine what it must be like to be Katniss and be all alone in the Games. 

Reading alouds are one of the most magical times in my classroom.  I love watching the students while they sit mesmorized as I read to them.  

Yesterday, I first read Kate Messner's Eye of the Storm to my 1/2 period and 3/4 period [right] double reading blocks. You'll see the boy on the right holding his own copy of the book because he was already reading it before today.  He is so excited to be the first one to be able to finish the book. 

I chose Eye of the Storm for a couple of reasons: 1) Kate Messner was a World Read Aloud ambassador; 2) We are studying tornadoes and other natural disasters right now; 3) Chapter 1 of Eye of the Storm grabs you and drags you into the story.  

It was a huge hit! The waiting list for the book now contains 13 names which is almost half of the students I read to today! I already told them I would buy another copy of the book since so many people want to read it- I will definitely have to make a trip to the bookstore now! 

In my yearbook class, we talked more about books than actually doing a read aloud. We first watched book trailers for a bunch of different books including Across the UniverseDivergentBefore I FallStargirlCinder and White Cat.  Then I let the students book talk books with each other. 

For my 7th period single block, we continued reading Love that Dog by Sharon Creech which we started on  Tuesday.  We got to THE part (you know if you've read it) and whenever I get to this part, I always stop and just sit for a couple of minutes and let it sink in. The silence during that time is the best silence- the pure engulfment of a book.  We will be finishing Love that Dog today- the students are excited to see what happens during the Walter Dean Myers visit.  I cannot wait to show them the video with Walter Dean Myers and Sharon Creech reading from Love that Dog.


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