Apologies dear readers…but this is a retrospective post as I join the World Read Aloud Day blogging challenge!
Reading aloud is an important tool for every parent, teacher and librarian. However, reading aloud is more than a tool, it’s a key to unlock a child’s imagination and a powerful weapon to combat disinterest in reading.
Many adults mistakenly believe that once a child has mastered the basic elements of independent reading, then they no longer need to read to their children. However in giving this up too early we miss, not only a much needed opportunity for one-on-one time and closeness with our children, but also an opportunity to share and model reading with our children.
When I observe my students and ask them about their reading habits, two things are apparent: my keenest and most accomplished readers and those reading at a level beyond their years, almost all have a parent that still reads to them, if not every night but often; however, those struggling with reading and those below the expected levels for their age, most often don’t have stories read to them at all (outside of school or in a library session). Interestingly, the children that are used to listening to stories and sharing books with others are most likely to sit and enjoy hearing more stories in their school and library sessions, even if they have heard them many times before, while those that aren’t read to often seem to be more easily distracted, fidget and interrupt at inappropriate times in the story much to the dismay of their classmates – they quite simply have not had the opportunity to learn to listen.
When parents come to me with concerns about their child’s lack of reading progress I always talk about modeling and reading aloud. Reading aloud helps a child to read. It is understandable that an adult might feel nervous or that they aren’t doing a brilliant job at reading aloud, but like everything it takes a little practice. Reading aloud, using the punctuation to guide the flow of the story, exploring new vocabulary, using expression in their voice and answering questions about the story all help a child understand the mechanics of how to actually read a book (not just the words on the page). Many children can recognise and understand the words, but it takes time to understand how the words and sentences and paragraphs fit together, and flow. Reading aloud aids a child’s ability to write creatively, they learn that a story is more than just words threaded together in sentences.
How will I celebrate World Read Aloud Day on March 6?
I will read aloud to every class that visits my library. Our library will host extra read aloud sessions at lunchtime that day (I am going to encourage some of my teachers that I love hearing read out loud to volunteer their time for this!) I will be encouraging teachers to set aside time in their classes that day for reading aloud if they have not planned this already. I will be printing posters and displaying them in as many places as I can advertising WRAD 2013.
Information and resources about World read Aloud Day:
For information about the World Read Aloud Blogging Challenge click here:
Resources on the importance of reading aloud:
There are many, many more resources available via the internet.