During our fabulous pre conference, we had a great session from our primary ELA team. I love their sessions because they are always research based…and they work in technology! They used a back channel to ask questions during their session. It was integration at its finest.
The discussion centered around read alouds and the benefits to students when they are added to their day. I know, I know…the magical question of where and how to fit in “read aloud” time is daunting. As a classroom teacher, I remember that visceral feeling of pain in losing any more of my precious minutes with my class. Knowing that I was going to bring this up to our staff come staff development, I found the following to support just WHY a read aloud is so crucial.
- Kids with larger vocabularies have an advantage when the modality of teaching is oral. Why? They understand what the teacher is saying. Kids with smaller vocabularies don’t get what is going on from the start and just fall father behind.
- Children who are spoken to and read to most often have the largest vocabularies.
- In conversation, we use verbal shorthand…but think of the rich language found in books. Rhymes, alliteration, dialogue…much more sophisticated than the casual conversation.
- Reading aloud helps increase a child’s attention span. (enough said.)
- Did you know a child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until 8th grade? Yes, upper grades need read alouds too!
- Reading aloud is like an advertisement for reading. In our present climate of testing and standardized pressure, kids need to still be able to be kids. They need to see that reading can be FUN and done for reasons other than to take a test, do a report, or write a comparison.
- The average teen spends 90 minutes a day text messaging. Research shows that you don’t remember information as well when retained from a screen. Read alouds can foster creativity, encourage conversation, and allow for imaginative thinking.
If those facts don’t convince you right now to add just 10 minutes of reading aloud in your world, whether it be in your classroom of your own children, look at this slide that was shared in our presentation. I’ve heard many comments in my day that there wasn’t anything “worthwhile” that could be read aloud to students. Almost every white paper, article, or journal entry talked about VOCABULARY and how important read alouds are to vocabulary development. This slide really hit home!
Even the most basic of preschool book offers 16.3 rare words per 1000. Your average comic book? 53.5.
Amazing! No excuses people! Get to reading! 😉 I can’t wait to tell my 11 y/o that we’re going to have a read aloud tonight!