Thursday, December 4, 2014

Magical Read Alouds

Read Aloud time is magical. Because of the way we switch classes for subjects, I can only read aloud four days in our six-day rotation. But those four days? I can read for at least thirty minutes. The other two days when I don’t have time? We often steal five or ten minutes just to read anyway. The kids cheer. They scoot close to me on the carpet. My mind flashes back to reading to my first class, kindergarteners. I smile. I love that no matter what the age, kids love being read to. I briefly wonder what it would be like to teach middle school, high school. Would they still love read alouds? I have a feeling they would.

We are currently reading aloud from our book, Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson. I wrote about my experience with it last year. (HERE) I wondered if this class would have the same reaction. So far, so good. We had been building to a big climax in the book. I was so invested in this book—and wanted so badly to be with them when they reached it—that I asked my mom not to read this to them when she subbed for me before break. I wanted to be there. Luckily, the kids and my mom agreed.

So Tuesday the kids scooted up close. I pulled out the book and quickly scanned ahead. Eleven pages until a huge plot twist. I glanced up at the clock and smiled. That should be right about the time we would head to PE. Perfect. I began reading.

My class is never quiet during a read aloud. It isn’t that they are talking to each other, it is that our reading class lessons, reacting to picture books, turn and talk to your neighbor, etc., have spilled over to read aloud. They react to everything I read out loud. There are gasps, whispers, predictions shared. I love it.

I won’t spoil the book for you by revealing what scene we were at on Tuesday, but if you have read it, Piper learns something about Anna. About a half of a page before I reached it, one of the kids said, “Oh my gosh, I think…” I smiled and put my finger to my lips. Then, we got there. As I read, I glanced up.

Mouths were hanging open.

Someone whispered Holy Crap!

One of my students was in the back with his hands in his hair like he was going to pull it out in shock. He just stared at me.

I glanced at the clock. We still had five minutes. “Should I stop?”


And so, I read.

Read alouds. They are the best part of my day.

Psst...If you want to read about another amazing book, that I bet would be a great read aloud, head over to the Nerdy Book Club today (HERE) where I review The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill.