I am a serious bookworm. I’ve always loved to read, and I can often be found curled up on the couch or in bed with a great book. These feelings have definitely crossed over and influenced my teaching, as I’m always striving to get my students excited and eager to read. I try to find specific books for each student, catered to their individual interests.
One way I have ingrained that love for reading into my students is by doing a daily read-aloud. The books vary throughout the year and depending which grade-level I’m teaching, but I generally tend to choose novels that may be too difficult for the class’s reading level at that point. We talk about the books together, discuss vocabulary words and plot points, and I have even had the kids make booklets that go along with what we’re reading.
This year, however, I wanted to try something a little bit different. Instead of focusing on a specific author for one of our bulletin boards, I showcase a particular novel. We discuss the characters, setting, problem, and solution as a class as we read, which are then posted on the board. At the end of the book, I give each student a sticky note, where they write down their favorite part of the story.
Story structure is a really important element of their learning within language arts and our curriculum, but I felt like our curriculum wasn’t quite getting the point across as much as I had wanted. The stories we focus on each week are only a handful of pages, which makes it much more difficult for meaningful discussions. Focusing on our read-aloud’s, instead, the kids are able to gain a better grasp of different story elements and discuss important concepts, such as themes throughout each story, motivations behind character actions, et cetera.
My class has been so excited all year long about our read-aloud stories. We’ve read tons of books together, and I have loved to share my passion for reading with the kids that I care about so dearly.