January 24, 2017 at 1:45 PM #6376Jonas SauderModerator@jonas
Classroom read aloud time has the potential to be one of the most worthwhile activities of the day. What are some titles you have shared with your class recently? How have you effectively integrated read aloud into class presentations instead of / in addition to having it as a stand-alone activity?
February 8, 2017 at 8:53 PM #7511Betty Yoder@bettyyoder
Story time is indeed a favorite time of the day for both the students and myself! Story is a powerful teaching tool. Since I would love to see other teachers’ lists of excellent read-alouds, I will list some of mine. So far this year I read to the 3rd – 4th graders the following: The Man in Bearskin, Old Yeller, The Miraculous Journeys of Edward Tulane, The Family Nobody Wanted, Caddie Woodlawn, and Wolf Dog. Mixed in and among these I read a few picture books. After reading a book we post the title above our world map with a string to the appropriate location. Several times I required students to write a summary of the book using these prompts: Who did what? And then what happened? How did it end?
Usually we all sit in our “circle time” area for story time, but periodically the students stay at their desks and work on some catch up projects and thus we get two birds with one stone.
In order to earn extra story time, students are invited to work toward collectively reading a set amount of pages. If at the end of each month they have reached that (teacher set class) goal we all enjoy a whole hour of story time — along with freshly popped popcorn. What fun! But, like all motivational projects, it can wear out.
We know that reading to students encourages them to read, but they need some guidance toward reading excellent books versus merely mediocre ones. With that in mind, the last several years I made an “Excellent Reads” list. If students read of those books, those pages counted double toward the above mentioned class reading goal.
I’d love to hear other teachers’ story time traditions.
March 11, 2017 at 10:55 AM #8881Erikson Lehman@eriksonlehman
I feel like I could easily absorb what the experienced teachers have to say and fail to be proactive in contributing any of my own ideas. I have felt that reading comprehension is one of the more useful and important skills for our students to develop and story time is a non-threatening setting to develop that. I have just finished reading “Once an Arafat Man” to my older students. This is a wonderful, true story of God’s redemption in the Middle East. To help students in their listening skills and reading comprehension skills, I have the students write summaries of each chapter. On a later day, I choose a few of them to present their summaries to the whole class, thus incorporating some public speaking skills. This activity is not graded. I want students to be able to enjoy the story and understand the plot of the story. This also keeps most of the students engaged with the story instead of being lost.
Is there a time to read a story for read-aloud purely for humor? If so, what amount is appropriate?
March 13, 2017 at 5:58 PM #8928Myron Brubacher@myronbrubacher
For Grades 1 and 2, I have tried to alternate my daily story time between a realistic story (for example, Farmer Boy) and an imaginative story (for example, Flat Stanley). Aside from the daily noon story time (approximately 10 minutes), I also have a weekly Literary Class when all the students gather in the Reading Corner while I read a picture book. I use this time to try to introduce basic concepts such as story structure, author/illustrator, etc.
Another thing that I do for lower elementary is that I take photos of the illustrations and display them with my projector (not sure about the legality of it?) The children love it and it helps them stay engaged in stories while allowing me to read instead of walking around the classroom showing the pictures.
March 20, 2017 at 8:59 PM #12349Patrick Heatwole@patnbets
I believe story time is a critical part of a good school experience. Good stories help develop appropriate loves in young people that are hard to grow through direct instruction. Often, I am able to read books to my students (high school) that I wouldn’t be able to place in the school library. (I do some editing as I read.) I really enjoy reading Same Kind of Different as Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to me students. Sometimes I time the reading of certain books with content material I am teaching. For instance, I read about Mrs. Lacks when I am teaching biology.
I’d like to see more of you make suggestions. What stories are must reads to help develop students who love God and have a desire to serve their neighbors? If there was only one book you could read to your students other than the Bible, what would it be? I would love to see thirty book ideas. Go!
PS – Make sure all your students hear Two Brothers, One Mission at some point.
March 20, 2017 at 9:31 PM #12352Adin Stoltzfoos@adinstoltzfoos
As a father, I’ve read aloud to our children Pablo Yoder’s books about his young life in Virginia. They always clamored for the next installment, which I usually presented in the nice, bite-size chapters. These would fit well in any school library. Another one we’ve enjoyed for its hearty laughs and engaging tales is Stories from the Old Squire’s Farm by CA Stephens. Part Laura Ingalls Wilder, part James Herriott, part Mark Twain, its stories somehow end with at least an implicit moral lesson, and they have a way of humanizing nineteenth century New England.
April 14, 2017 at 1:59 PM #21445Jonas SauderModeratorOriginal Poster@jonas
Amos Fortune–Free Man is a must-read for all upper elementary students. If you don’t use it as part of the reading curriculum, at least savor it as a read-aloud. It’s a delightful, serious, profound biography that elucidates multiple themes–most notably what it means to be free.
Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart is one of those rare books that intrigues everyone, from age pre-school through retirement. Six year old Opal began her journal while growing up as an orphan in Oregon lumber camps over a century ago.
From page one:
“The mama where I live says I am a new sance. I think it is something grownups don’t like to have around.”
September 16, 2017 at 3:42 PM #29272Carolyn Martin@carolynmartin
Some favorite read-alouds in my first grade classroom are Lizzie and Lizzie in Grade One by Shirley Brubacher, The Boxcar Children, Little House in the Big Woods, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, The Middle Sister by Miriam Mason, Shagbark Hickory, and The Courage of Sarah Noble. Water Buffalo Days by Quang Nhuong Huynh is always a favorite among students. Set in Vietnam, the author tells of his growing up years with his pet water buffalo.
In the picture book category, I just found The Seagoing Cowboy by Peggy Reiff Miller, published by the Brethren Press. It tells the story of the men who delivered cattle to post-World War II Europe as part of the relief effort. It was of special interest to me because I grew up hearing stories of my Granddad who made two trips across the Atlantic on a cattle boat.
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