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:
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:
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.