Celebrate this week:Kids reading to kids – a new classroom tradition is born


Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!

This week’s celebration is about the moment pictured above.  I had book talked Through The Woods with my kids, and mentioned the magic word in describing it: terrifying.  Naturally, everyone wanted to read the book right then and there, but it was getting close to the end of the period and I made a vague promise about reading one of the stories the next day.

Two seconds later (with three minutes to go), I turned around and saw a gaggle of kids gathered around and one of my kids reading aloud.  The bell rang. No one moved, and the reading continued, the story was completed.

I could hear my kids talking about the experience all the way out of the classroom and down the hall way and stairs – they were terrified, for sure, but also HOOKED!  The next day, there was much pleading to continue.  I am not ashamed to say that I was having one of “those days” – a migraine pounding in my head, and the deadline for closing my grade books looming with journals still to read.

“Just one story,” I said, and before I could move to reach for the book, someone had grabbed it and 24 kids were racing to the reading rug.  Somewhere along the way, a decision had apparently been made as to who would sit in the reading rocker and read aloud, and then magic enfolded.  One student read (with all the right reading moves) and everyone else was enthralled.  Because it was a gruesome story with all to vivid illustrations, all eyes were glued to the book.  Every once in a while there was a collective groan, or drawing in of breath, but there was no other movement.

At the end, every one sighed, and then there was talk. “That was SO awesome,” one student said.  “Yeah, no offense, Mrs. Smith, but it’s so great when WE get to read aloud, too.”

I had never thought of that.  But now, with this scene in my mind, we will do more of it. My kids want to read aloud to each other. What could possibly be better for our classroom community than that?














11 thoughts on “Celebrate this week:Kids reading to kids – a new classroom tradition is born

  1. When I had laryngitis this week, I handed the current read aloud over to my students. You are right. They read with expression and loved the opportunity to be front and center. Magical.

  2. Now you have me wanting to see this book, because the word terrifying sends me in the other direction. Its awesome the way they took the book and task over.

  3. Agreed, that book is terrifying, and also awesome. Your students know it, and what a pleasure to think they will do the reading aloud too. Serendipity reigns! (Hope you are better.)

  4. What a happy realization. We don’t always see the opportunities for our students to shine & contribute. I’m glad you went with it and had such a positive experience.

  5. I love how your students took over! Every year in March, I have a calendar in my room where my students can sign up to read their favorite picture book to the class. They practice and practice for their day. They are so proud of themselves — and I am too!

  6. Tara, leave it to students to find the joy of reading a terrifying book with all the right moves. You must have been so proud of what they accomplished on their own. Kudos to all of you!

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