you're like every other teacher I know, you're feeling a big squeeze on your
instruction time. There just aren't
enough minutes in your day to get everything in. I understand that some things have to go,
but, I cringe every time I hear a teacher say "I just don't have time to
read aloud to my kids." Instead of
taking the read-alouds out of your day, why not find ways
to work them into your instructional time.
are a few ways the read-aloud time can be used to enhance your instructions
excitement when introducing new topics
discussions on sensitive topics
student vocabulary and comprehension skills
examples for classroom expectations
the beginning of every year we spend lots of time setting up our classroom
routines and explaining the expectations.
I use the book, Because of Winn Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo, to help establish a set of
classroom expectations. I call these
expectations, Life Lessons or qualities that will help us all get along and
have a successful year.
my favorite read aloud book of all time!
I have a blast putting on my southern accent as I become Opal, Miss Franny, Gloria Dump and all the other
wonderful characters. The kids love it
when you get into the read aloud and use your voice to enhance the moods and
personalities in the story.
I’m reading, I stop once in a while to share my thinking and encourage the kids
to share theirs. (great way to introduce metacognition) For every two chapters
I guide the discussion toward one “Life Lesson”. In chapter 1 Opal comes home from the store
with a stray dog. She got the dog when
she told the manager the stray belonged to her.
So our discussion is about truthfulness and honesty. It can be a great discussion because Opal’s
little white lie has saved a dog’s life. But, does that make it ok to be
every two chapters we discuss these life lessons: honesty, curiosity, compassion, responsibility,
courage, teamwork, respect, loyalty, generosity, friendship, self-discipline,
perseverance, and joyfulness. Using this
read aloud at the very beginning of the school year we not only set the tone
for a caring and supportive classroom, we also bond as a class through the
shared experience of enjoying this wonderful book.
are the life lesson discussion cards you can use with the book, Because of Winn