#SOLSC17:Read alouds for the teacher…me!

The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of  a writing community.

Read alouds are the beating heart of our classroom’s reading and writing workshops – my kids love them, I love them.   I just have to say, “Let’s meet at the reading rug to READ!” and my kiddos are just about leap frogging over each other to get  there and get settled into their favorite reading postures.   Their enthusiasm mirrors mine – I love selecting books, practicing how to read them to greatest effect, and thinking through the sorts of teacherly things I’d like to (perhaps) accomplish through our read aloud.

Today, my friend Julieanne Harmatz shared one her usual thoughtful posts about choreographing read alouds.  I loved this post, especially this:

Read Aloud encapsulates all that is good in a reading classroom: community, the joy of reading, and modeling of what and how readers do.

But, here’s this  teacher’s little secret, I love being read aloud to, too!  Not just the books on tape read aloud, but the kind of read aloud I do for my kids – a bit of discussion, some authorly and writerly insights, and a knowing reading of the text.  By “a knowing reading” I mean a reading based on deep knowledge of the text – where it is clear that the reader has spent time deep in the weeds of the text, and knows and loves it well.

How wonderful, therefore, to have these two forums for read alouds of literature and poetry:

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I love the conversations that precede these readings between writers and the New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman about the stories they have chosen, and I love the conversations that follow the readings.  But I love  being read aloud to the best.  For each hourlong program, I get to feel the pleasure of story in the same way my kiddos do on our green reading rug.

Often, I enjoy a reading and its discussions so much that I return again and again, just as my students do to their favorite stories:

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These podcasts feed my own love of literature, and get me thinking about the many threads of the reading experience I need to weave together to make meaning, and to make joy.  Through them I learn lessons about being a reader which I can can bring back to our classroom, to that green rug where every  read aloud takes place.



20 thoughts on “#SOLSC17:Read alouds for the teacher…me!

  1. Read alouds are for everyone, every age! I love listening to an accomplished reader bring a book to life too. A just right read aloud is magic in the classroom.

  2. Thank you for sharing such wonderful resources. I adore read aloud time, as do my K students. It breaks my heart when I hear that teachers feel they can’t fit it a read aloud. That would be the last thing I’d cut from my daily routine. Another wonderful resource to share with others is Reading Picture Books With Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See. I’m excited to be attending a workshop with the author, Megan Dowd Lambert tomorrow evening. Perhaps I’ll even slice about it! Have a joyful day!

  3. I too loved Julieanne’s post yesterday and am so excited to check out the podcasts and resources you shared above Tara. Like you I also love to listen to a great read aloud. Hope you are well.

  4. I didn’t know this existed before reading your post; I now have a new Spring Break activity to pursue! Thanks for sharing your love of read-alouds as both presenter and recipient.

  5. You’ve introduced me to a new podcast. Thank you! This community is always a source of new learning and pleasure for me. And now I’m off to read Julieanne’s post!

  6. I immediately followed New Yorker poetry podcast. How did I miss this? I also passed it along to a client –so thank you. One of the things I most loved about mornings with Rob was that he would read to me. Inevitably he’d find something in the newspaper, magazine, book he was reading that I just had to hear and he would read it aloud so well. Such joy to hear the writtenn word spoken aloud.

  7. I don’t think we ever outgrow our love of being read to. There’s something about closing our eyes, listening, and being swept away by those words.

  8. I really enjoy listening to The New Yorker’s Fiction podcast, but I had never heard the poetry one. Thank you for sharing! I wonder if all English teachers love being read to as much as we love reading aloud? I teach high school, so it is rarely something I get to do, but every year for March 2, I read some Dr. Seuss for my students. And you know what? Even high school seniors will leap-frog their way over each other to get to the best spots on the floor so they can get comfy and look up at me while I read some old favorites. They may have be nearly grown-up and preparing to go to college, but for a half an hour or so while I read, I see the 5 year olds in their eyes.

  9. To make joy! Reading aloud, being read to makes joy. I’ve been listening to the poetry podcasts because of your recommendation. Thanks!

  10. So fun to read Julieanne’s post,then I just read Katherine Sokolowski’s post also about read aloud. I didn’t know about these. How wonderful. I take The New Yorker, should easily be able to access them. It’s so hard to find time to read the long fiction. Thank you so much, Tara!

  11. This reminds me of all I love about oral interpretation–the physical embodiment of a piece of literature. I subscribe to The New Yorker, but have not listened to these podcasts. Now I will, and I have a feeling I’ll be sharing them w/ my AP Lit and Comp students.

    When I think about the ways high school teachers use read-alouds, I typically hear them reference picture books; I start the year in AP Lit w/ a lesson on analyzing theme in picture books, but we really don’t do much else w/ them in that class. Now the idea of hearing V.S. Naipaul (whose work I love) read to students is a temptation I can’t pass up!

  12. I was listening to the New Yorker fiction podcast the other day, thanks to you. I grew up listening to story, and it continues to be one of my happiest places.

  13. The green rug sounds like a magical place. I wish I could visit! I can imagine the children’s enthusiasm. They’re lucky to have a teacher who is so dedicated to storytelling.

  14. Yes, Tara! “A reading based on deep knowledge of the text – where it is clear that the reader has spent time deep in the weeds of the text, and knows and loves it well” are the best readings. With so many podcasts and audiobooks, I had somehow forgotten about these New Yorker offerings. Thank you for reminding me!

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