A blog to share information on literacy strategies across contents and grade levels. Metacognitive strategies included. "Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one's thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one's thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner." -- Vanderbilt University
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Monday, July 27, 2015
I am posting this for every grade level. Read alouds are powerful instructional tools at any grade level. As you read this, try to think of the grade appropriate chalenges in the texts you use and how the read aloud can assist your students. Courtesy of Choice Literacy.
do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and
that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous,
ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift,
It is early in September, and Beth Lawson is reading the picture book What Does It Mean to Be Present?
by Rana DiOrio to her fourth graders. The gentle, spare text and
illustrations are about helping others, being patient, and enjoying
simple pleasures like the warmth of the sun and the sound of the rain.
The children are captivated by the words and images. As Beth reads the
book, she pauses at almost every page, savoring each one. “What does
this make you think of?” she asks again and again. Beth shares
experiences of enjoying food (and her young son ever so slowly eating an
ice cream cone). The children listen carefully, making connections in
almost hushed voices.
As I watch, I am amazed at how much learning is going on so
early in the year just from a read aloud. Why do we ever allow ourselves
to get defensive about the value of read alouds? Maybe because someone
peeking into the classroom would think an activity this pleasurable
can’t possibly be good learning. But they’d be wrong. The process of
listening and responding teaches children how to be kind, thoughtful
members of a community. The cadence slows down the pace of the class
just when the rhythm starts to get too rapid or stressful. And the
content of each read aloud gives every child in the class a mentor text
they share with everyone else, regardless of their reading level or
mastery of the English language.
Five minutes here and there, every day in the first weeks of
school, quickly adds up to dozens of shared texts and stories in a
fledgling classroom community that can be used as touchstones all year
long. It’s a paradox that the early days of school fly by so quickly,
yet it is still such slow, hard work to build trust and respect. Taking
time for extra read alouds in those first weeks of school, especially of
picture books that require no more than a few minutes to share, is a
way to slow down and enjoy some laughs together, or sigh with
appreciation over beautiful language or a stunning image. Instead of
talking about what it means to pay attention, respect your classmates,
and honor literacy, everyone can live it. And what child doesn’t love
being read to?
This week we focus on read alouds early in the school year. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
Free for All
[For sneak peeks at our upcoming features, quotes and extra links, follow Choice Literacy on Twitter: @ChoiceLiteracyor Facebook:
Choice Literacy is celebrating our tenth year!
In honor of the milestone, our Classics series will feature the most
popular articles and videos on the site from our decade-long run. This
month's classic is Franki Sibberson's The Quest for the Perfect First Read Aloud of the Year:
Get organized for the new school year with our online courses for school leaders, Supporting Teachers in Writing Workshops (July 29 - August 9) with Ruth Ayres and Designing School Bookrooms (August 24-28) with Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan. To view descriptions or register click on the link below: