Do you want to be able to read more books aloud to your students? Is your read-aloud the first thing to get bumped on a busy day? This was me too! Until I started intentionally planning a read-aloud in my classroom.
Here are some things that worked for me and how I think they can help you too.
Before I dive in, I want you to know that you can watch or listen to this information in my YouTube video below:
How I Used to Do Read-Alouds
My read-alouds use to happen whenever I had “extra time.” But, let’s face it, as teachers do we really ever have extra time in our schedule??
If we finished our math lesson early or the science lesson took less time than I expected, I would just grab a random book off the shelf. That was our read-aloud of the day!
Yeah, that didn’t work so well. My students weren’t invested in our read-alouds. I was only getting to them once or twice a week. And they were easy to skip, if something else came up. Simply put, I didn’t have a plan.
The Changes I Made to Planning a Read-Aloud
I finally sat down and started actually planning a read-aloud time. I knew that I needed to be intentional and consistent, if I wanted it to have an impact on my students.
I pulled out my planner and looked for where it could fit. This was different every year. Sometimes it was during snack or after recess or before the end of the day. It all depended on what worked best that year with the students that I had in my classroom.
I not only scheduled the read-aloud into my planner, but I would display it on our daily schedule on the board. If the students were able to see it, they kept me accountable too!
The next thing I would do in planning a read-aloud, was to get the books ready. I always did my planning on Thursdays, so this is the day that I would pull out all my read-aloud books for the following week. I would pull them out of my classroom library or borrow them from the school/local library.
I would keep them in a pile near my easel, where we read aloud together. Having them close by ensured that I had the books on hand and ready to go. This save precious time!
Check out this blog post for how to get books for your classroom for cheap!
The Results I Got!
By planning a read-aloud ahead of time, I was able to make huge changes in my classroom! My students were constantly begging for more read-aloud time! They were not only excited about the books we were sharing together, but they were more invested in their own reading as well.
And instead of the read-alouds using up teaching time, I was actually able to save time! By connecting the books to the curriculum or using picture books to address behaviors that I was seeing in the classroom, I was able to cover two things at once.
Do you plan ahead for your read-alouds? How has that made a difference in your classroom?
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