I used to read to my students every day for five minutes. We would set the timer, and I would begin five minutes of uninterrupted reading. Sometimes, the students would be “Guest Readers”, and they would get a chance to read the book to their peers. They loved it, and so did I. Then I stopped. I don’t know why, but I did.
Last year, I became a volunteer for Read Aloud DE. Every Tuesday, I head to the day care across the street, and I read for an hour to 3 and 4 year olds. There is nothing like the feeling of being the Reading Lady, and having toddlers bum rush you as you walk in the door, or outside on the playground, screaming, “Read to me, read to me!”
Well, this motivated me to read to my 5th graders again. I chose “The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snickett. I have to admit I had never read one of his books. We set the timer, and I read, uninterrupted, for five minutes practically every day. What an enjoyable experience for myself, and my students!
“The Bad Beginning” began to spring up on desks around the classroom, from low readers to higher level readers. Some finished the first book, and moved on to the rest of the series. Some stayed with me, sharing each moment. I loved the reactions that were elicited from my students as I read. The gasps, the moans, the “Ugh, she’s only 14.” The last day, when the five minutes were up, they begged me to finish, there were only 13 pages left. I looked at the clock, thought about what I was supposed to be doing at 10:45 a.m., and kept reading! The applause at the end of the book was thunderous!
Each week, I would incorporate Edmodo, Twiducate Chat, Kidblog, something to make the students think, and write, about what I had read. I had them draw a picture of their favorite scene. Many of my students volunteered to bring in the movie. I’m going to use the movie as a vehicle to compare and contrast the book vs. the movie. Let them decide which is better, and explain. (I can create a poll on Edmodo before and after they view the movie). They will also create a Glog “book report” of the story.
It still amazes me what I was able to do with 25 minutes of Read Aloud a week. I was able to incorporate many of the Language Arts Standards, and it inspired my non-readers to read. The next book we read, I will incorporate Guest Readers again, and I will also ask their parents to volunteer to read. Five minutes a day created something that, I hope, will last a lifetime, a love of reading!
Education World: Reading Aloud, Is It Worth It?