It is no secret that I love books. Books, books, everywhere you look! That is one way to describe our classroom. But the best thing about books is the readers who enjoy them. Sharing the reading experience is an important way to build a community of readers. Time exists everyday for reading and the adults who work in my classroom or visit regularly love to be part of the action.
Lucky for us, we have numerous volunteers who are a regular part of our week, spending time with us in the classroom. Often, that time involves a shared reading experience When children and adults read together, everyone benefits – the adults, the children and the teacher (lucky me :-)). Shared reading builds community at the same time as it helps to develop reading skills and a positive attitude about literacy. There are so many benefits – here are my top ten!
1. Fluent models: Opportunity to listen to an adult read. We all know how important this is to help students become more fluent readers. When reading with an adult, there is often turn taking with a story and so the child has the opportunity to sit back and benefit from the modelling of a proficient adult reader who demonstrates the importance of phrasing, expression and enthusiasm as they read.
2. Oral Reading Practice: The students also have time to work on their own oral reading fluency. Reading aloud to an adult is wonderful practice!
3. Enhancing conversation skills: All kinds of talking happens when sharing a book. “How about you read that page and I read this page?” “Can you help me if I get stuck on a word?” “I’ll be Piggie and you be Gerald!” “What was your favourite part?”
4. Vocabulary Development: As stories are discussed, new words and concepts are introduced. Children are exposed to more new words through reading books than just having a casual conversation. When an adult is working one to one or with a small group, there is the opportunity to talk about unknown words or concepts that are not clear.
5. Time for tangents: It is always wonderful when a story takes you off in a few directions, sharing stories and connections. “That reminds me of . . . ” “Did you know that I . . .?” “Have you ever . . .? ” Time reading with an adult means these important conversations can happen.
6. The gift of time: One to one attention that conveys, “You are important. I like this time we spend together. It matters.” Enough said.
7. Bonding over books: Books are the bridge that help connections form. It is easy to share and talk about books, laugh about stories and learn new things together. As the reading and learning happens, the connections and bonding does too. Magic.
8. Pride: Positive feedback from an interested adult directly impacts the confidence and pride young readers feel about their growing skills.
9. Making book love contagious: This happens when we share our love of reading with children. The more people sharing, the more that is shared! I am so thankful for all of the adults who help me ensure that students are catching the love of reading.
10. Reading = Enjoyment: The association of happy experiences and reading is essential if we are going to create life long readers. Not all children have had the experience of being read to by a loved one. Shared reading in the classroom with a caring adult helps students to have positive associations about books. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
During our busy school year, I don’t always have the time to properly celebrate all of the wonderful adults who share reading time with my students. This post is my tribute to all of them. What you do means so much!
A reading community is very important in my classroom.
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