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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Read Alouds: The first few days

Every teacher and every reading professional probably has a lot to say about those first few read alouds.  Mine were important to me because of their message!  I have settled on a few gems these last few years and I'll share these books now and why I love them.

First, I begin my very first read aloud with the following book, My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss. I use this book because it focuses on all the colors that represent feelings we have from day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and minute-to-minute.  I remind students that we are a classroom full of many colors, every day!  We have to share a common space and get along.  Learning to exist with others, whether they're having a good day or a bad day, is a valuable life skill.

Next, I read the book, Sneetches, also by Dr. Seuss.  This book is great for an introduction to playground politics.  The playground is an important part of kid's development.  Kids have independent choice (Or at least whatever choice is left over after the insurance company has ruined all the fun.) and make decisions about what to do and who to play with without their parents or teachers telling them what choices they should be making.  They must make tough choices, solve problems, and learn to stand up for themselves.  Sneetches teache about people who discriminate and how those being discriminated against solve their problem.  It's a great story to teach students about solving their own playground struggles.

My school last year chose the book, One by Kathryn Otoshi, to help focus our year-long theme.  It's a great story about being the one!  It's about accepting the differences of others, standing up for others, and learning to be the one and do the right thing.

Another book I read in the fall is about writing and is called The Best Story.  This story is a perfect share you you begin your writing workshop.  The book is about a child who tries to listen TOO MUCH to others' ideas of good writing; she learns to listen more to herself and eventually realizes that the best stories ceme from within us as writers.


One of the favorite parts of my job as a teacher is reading aloud.  (Of course, there are many favorites to my job!) I love reading novels and have some favorites that lend themselves to a fall classroom.  I absolutely love using 101 Ways to Bug Your Parents by Lee Wardlaw.  It's a perfect book for the fall readers and writers workshops.  It helps me teach about the routines of both workshops; plus it lends itself to teaching about writing leads and endings, writing strong dialogue, balancing dialogue and action, plus much more.

In reading workshop we use as students go through the work of getting to know themselves as readers.  We use it to work through the visualization strategy plus teaching about strong characters.  101 Ways to Bug Your Parents is loved by both girls and boys!

There are a lot of other great novels, too, such as My Side of the Mountain and Bud, Not Buddy.  Do you have other recommendations for fall read alouds?


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