Come on in and read with us!

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.
Come on in and read with us! The top ten benefits of shared reading with adults. There's a Book for thatLucky 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!
Come on in and read with us! The top ten benefits of shared reading with adults. There's a Book for that
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.
Come on in and read with us! The top ten benefits of shared reading with adults. There's a Book for that
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.
Come on in and read with us! The top ten benefits of shared reading with adults. There's a Book for that
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.
 Come on in and read with us! There's a book for That
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?
Come on in and read with us! The top ten benefits of shared reading with adults. There's a Book for that
 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.
Other posts on this topic:

Dear New Student

Hey teachers . . . . What would your students highlight if asked to share about their classroom? I was delighted to see what my students mentioned when I asked.

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

The task? Write a note to a fictitious new student. What would someone new to our room need/want to know?

Dear New Student:

“My friends are so nice to me in this class. I love my teachers and all of our helpers and visitors. I love all of the books! They are special and calm. I play with my friends but not all of the time! We go to the carpet for read alouds. I love math. It is so fun and it makes me happy.”  Kelvin

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

“We are so nice that your heart will break. And we listen. We do art too. You will get smarter in this classroom. You will meet different students in Seymour School. You must have a big brain. We do singing at school.” Kala

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

“This classroom has lots of books like chapters, board books, picture books. So if you don’t know this, this is not the class for you! Get reading!” Ava

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

“We do mindful breathing three times a day. At the class meeting, we say something we are grateful for. Sometimes, I say I am grateful for my friends.” Vicky

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

“Be polite at people. Be nice. Do reading groups. Do your job like cleaning up if it is the end of the day. I love math. I love books too! Did you know that we do mindful breathing 3 times a day? You could read a book many times.” Kevin

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

“We always come to the carpet for a story after lunch. We do art every week. We do a gratitude circle. You say something special when you got the gratitude stone. Sometime I say I am grateful for my family. BLG readers come every Wednesday. There are lots of books in our classroom. I like to read Jack Stalwart series, Stink books, Owly and Captain Awesome.” Heman

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

“I’m Gracie. I just wanted to let you know that we do quiet time. And Ms. Gelson has a library in her classroom! She loves loves loves reading. We have an art gallery in our classroom too. On Thursdays we have class meetings. But what you really have to know is that . . . WE LOVE READING!” Gracie

 Dear New Student - There's a Book for That!

So while these letters started off to an imaginary new student, in the end they turned out to be little pieces of writing I treasure.

Yes, the book love is transferring! Students love a room full of books and time to read. Our daily mindful breathing features big. Math is fun! Learning and community are front and centre!

This is a classroom we are proud of and ready to share – so . . . Dear new student, if you arrived, we would welcome you!

Into the bins we go . . .

With this goal in mind – read often and from a wide variety of sources, we are spending time each week exploring different reading bins in the classroom. My reading group is keen to explore and share picture books. This week we explored our Rhyme and Repetition bin using this format: 1. Explore the bin 2. Spend time reading some self-selected titles 3. Talk about what we noticed 4. Write a reflection

I brought out this bin and students predicted that many of these titles would have rhyming parts and selections of text that repeated (the title of the bin made this prediction a pretty easy one :-)) I read a few pages of a few books to model exactly that. We identified how often ending words rhymed and that sentence structure or specific phrases repeat. Students then helped me spread the books out on the carpet and every child spent fifteen minutes reading a variety of titles from this set of books.

We then gathered back at the carpet and shared what we had noticed focusing on this question:

Our list definitely included the rhyming and the repeating but students started with the fun aspect of the stories pointing out that they were often silly, farfetched and funny. It was clear that the word play brought a lightness to the books. One student even commented that the authors would have to work very hard to make all the words work together.

I then asked students to take just five minutes and write their own reflections about the books they read from this bin. This student was a big fan of these titles! He writes: “I noticed that they (meaning the authors) were worked very hard, They are the best in the world. They are very funny.”  

Today during independent reading, some students returned to this bin. It’s all in exposing students to new titles and genres to broaden their reading choices. Each week, I plan to introduce a different bin of books and follow a similar process. It’s a great opportunity to work on our reading stamina and increase our knowledge of book choices.