Read Aloud Expectations

There’s nothing that brings a group of kids together like relaxing on the floor while listening to a great book. The year begins with a group of boys and girls from varied backgrounds and experience, but during the very first read aloud of the year they begin to bond as a class.
Read aloud time is important and in order to make the most of this time, you should establish a set of expectations.

-All students are included.  They do not get to opt out to do something else.

-Students are not kept out to complete classwork or as a negative consequence for behavior.  My read-aloud time was just as important to my academic goals as was my math and reading lessons.  I would never tell Mary she couldn’t participate in a math lesson because of her misbehavior, so the same held true for our read-aloud time.

-Students are expected to focus on the story and participate in read aloud discussions and activities.

-Depending on your class space, students must be in the listening area.  I always set up a corner of my room with a comfy, teacher chair and side table.  Students sat on the carpeted floor in the open space.  I liked for them to be close to me because it made the reading, listening and discussion more personal.

-Most years I allowed students to choose their own spot.  We had many discussions about making wise choices and sometimes sitting next to your best friend is not a wise choice.  And, there were some years when certain students lost the privilege of choosing their own spot.  Some students need more personal space so they usually ended up at the back of the group.  The back was also very popular with the boys or girls who had other things on their agenda than listening to a story.  I found ways to mix up the seating arrangements but still left them with some choice.

-Respect is shown to everyone during discussions.  Students need to feel that they can express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas without being teased or laughed at.

Here's a sign you can use in your read aloud area to remind students of the expectations: (click on the image for the free download)

Reading aloud to your class is an important part of your day.  You need to set student expectations for this engaging instructional time.

Happy Reading!

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