Sunday, March 14, 2010

That Workshop Book: Reflection 6

My favorite part of the day, hands-down, is read aloud. I value this piece of our learning so much- we have read aloud at least twice a day. During read alouds, we have conversations about the story we're hearing, the author's craft, new words, predictions, etc. I am hearing them process all the thinking that happens while reading. Talk about authentic assessment! It is also one of the most intimate times in our classroom. I love that Samantha Bennett refers to this time as "re-creating the emotional and intellectual pleasure of lap time reading as well as bringing your students into the grown up world of sitting around the dinner table for hours having fascinating conversations." The tone and atmosphere we create during a read aloud is gentle, yet purposeful, allowing kids to feel safe taking risks and sharing their ideas. I love that many of them will check out the same book from the school or local library and read along with me. Or check the same book out months later to revisit the story because they loved the experience so much. Read aloud allows us to hear other's thinking which helps us grow as learners. We observe strategies to improve for reading comprehension, accuracy and fluency. It is a time of inspiration for us as readers and writers. Independently, they will read with more expression or write in similar style as they stories they hear. Many of our read alouds end up being mentor texts for our writers. Worth mentioning- this is my first year with a Smartboard. One of my favorite features is the Smart Camera that can be used with it. I am able to take pictures and magnify illustrations and/or passages from read alouds with the camera and have them on the Smartboard. Then the kids can come up and write on, circle and/or engage with the story in a different way. Also, they just are better able to see the features (illustration/text) of the story. This was especially helpful when reading Hugo Cabret.

No comments: