Thursday, October 10, 2013
Reading Aloud: A Few of My Favorite Things
There is nothing I love more than reading aloud to a group of students. My co-teachers are always offering to take over some of the reading, but my response is always NO (said with love, of course). Seeing the look of excitement and pure interest/focus on student's faces makes my day. Currently, we are reading The Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. I knew the students would enjoy this story, so I was excited to be able to share it with them. Here are just some of my favorite things that have happened during or because of the story, which make me genuinely make me happy:
1. Talking while I am reading - this is on-task, interactive conversation about the story. Students are constantly trying to predict the next event, sharing their emotions about certain characters or commenting in agreement with decisions that are being made throughout the story. These are not disruptive comments for the entire class to hear, but soft chatter similar to what would be heard in a movie theater at exciting parts of a movie.
2. One student shared that she loved this book so much (we are only about 19 chapters into it) that she went out and bought her own copy. She is using the copy to read to a group of 4th and 5th graders at a neighboring elementary school during a reading group that she helps to host.
3. There are just some words that I struggle to pronounce correctly. Indubitably just happens to be one of those words, and it also happens to appear in the story. As I stumbled over the word, one of the students grabbed a dictionary to look up the word because he was curious about its meaning. He also taught me how to correctly pronounce indubitably.
4. There was second student who couldn't wait for the ending, so he bought a copy for himself. He was so excited after he finished that he couldn't wait to ask me 1,000 questions about the story. He shared that as I am reading the book (re-reading it to him) he is having all kinds of a-ha moments about important information the author shared, which he didn't realize was important the first time he read the story.
5. Yesterday morning, a student stopped me in the hallways and asked if I would be reading Lemoncello again. He was thrilled to find I that I would be, and he said to me, "I love when you read aloud. I feel like the book comes to life and that I'm living in an actual movie." This comment made my day, if not my entire year!
I have had the dreaded head cold that has been going around, and my one motivation for coming to school has been so that I can see the student's reactions to Mr. Lemoncello! Reading aloud has always been something I love doing, but this book and these students have increased that love more than I ever imagined possible.