As teachers we are often caught in the struggle of trying to fit so many things into our school day and when time gets tight, it can be tempting to cut out your read aloud. However, there are so many benefits to daily reading aloud to your students, so please Don’t Cut Your Read Aloud! Books are a wonderful resource for teaching every subject and value in your classroom regardless of the grade you teach. You can fit in your read aloud by integrating great children’s literature throughout the school day.
Here are 6 ways to use read alouds in your classroom:
- Math—I love using picture books in math! It is so important for students to be able to see math in the real world and books can open up that world for us!
- Reading—While this seems like a no-brainer, books are a powerful tool for teaching the many critical skills in each of the five main pillars of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension). Pulling out a picture book to teach a skill is such a meaningful way to teach reading!
- Writing—If I want my students to become great writers, they need to see examples of great writing! Using books as mentor texts is a powerful tool for our growing writers.
- Content—Do you teach science, social studies, or even STEM? Guess what, there are excellent books for each of those areas! Books that will bring your subject to life and engage your learners in new ways. Try kicking off your next science lesson with a book!
- Social-Emotional Skills—This is one of my favorite ways to use books! Stories can be used as transformative tools. For example, we often tell our students to be kind, but they also need to be taught kindness. In books they can see important values like kindness modeled and connect with characters in meaningful ways. Books can be the key that unlocks the door to important discussions we need to be having with our kids. If you’re having difficulty with finding time to read these kinds of books, try reading one during your morning meeting time so that it happens first thing in the day.
- Read for Fun—Every day I tried to read a book for fun to my first graders after lunch. (If after lunch does not work for you try the end of the day or another time that works in your schedule.) This was a story that wasn’t tied to an assignment, because reading for fun is an important part of reading too! If we tie every book to an assignment, students will begin to believe that the only reason to read is for a grade. Do not be afraid to bring the books you read to life—laugh and enjoy the books with your students, use voices when you read, and discover new characters and plots together. There are countless adventures awaiting your class in the pages of a book!
About the author
Becca Foxwell is an energetic first grade teacher whose heart comes alive in the classroom! She is a TPT Teacher-Author, speaker and presenter, and 2016 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Foxwell is passionate about instilling a love of learning within the hearts of her students and believes that learning should be fun and engaging as we prepare our students for 21st century success! You can learn more about Mrs. Foxwell at: https://www.foxwellforest.com/