Are you read aloud ready?
You can always tell my most loved read alouds just from looking at my book collection. They’re the ones with ratty old post its sticking out from between the pages. When I find a read aloud that I love, I litter the pages with questions, so I can remember exactly where to stop for the most emphasis and what to ask.
If you were to open the covers of one of these books, papers would probably fall out and all over the floor. Pages of ideas and writing activities and sorts that fit a book perfectly get tucked inside covers so that I can always know where to look.
Well, it’s 2018 and enough is enough.
I decided I needed to step into the digital age with my read aloud system, so I updated the whole sha-bang!
I turned post it questions into a neatly typed list of questions to ask before, during, and after a read aloud with pictures of the pages where I should stop to have the kids turn and talk.
I turned shoved pages into retyped and more rigorous comprehension activities that match skills from my curriculum.
I’m updating slowly. I basically overhaul a read aloud after I schedule it in my plans. But it has honestly been the best thing I’ve done to help my teacher self all year! No exaggeration.
In third grade, especially as we inch closer to Spring, the expectation is that students will be able to show mastery of a text passage by answering questions about said passage in a test format. I don’t know about you, but I hate test prep. I try to make it as reading-focused and engaging as possible. It’s normally around this time of year that I have to stop reading aloud to my kiddos every day because I’m struggling to fit it all in.
This year is different.
I’ve found the solution.
I read an amazing, relevant, entertaining book; and then my students practice the same skills they would with a passage, but in the form of retell booklets, matching, and cut and sort activities. My kids love it and they don’t even realize it’s basically the same work, just without the silence and the long passage…and the stress.
So far I’ve converted and published my book companions for:
–Barack by Jonah Winter
–The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
–Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
–Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
I try to always include sequencing and cause and effect, because those are the hardest skills for my students.
I have other skills mixed in to, depending on what the book lends itself to, like:
Character Traits and Feelings, Compare and Contrast, Main Idea, Context Clues, and more…
And of course, inside every companion is what started it all, my questioning guide.
All of these book companions are available in my store and can be accessed through clicking on the list above or the pictures below.
What’s your favorite read aloud?