Friday, February 15, 2013

The Power of Read-Alouds

Reading aloud is a powerful activity to share with children.  Something special occurs when a book is read aloud.  It becomes a performance of sorts; the story to comes to life.  The experience can be entertaining, informative, thought-provoking, even emotional.  A special bond is formed between a reader and a listener when they share a story.

I can't overstate the importance of reading aloud to children, even after they have learned to read independently. 

My Top 10 Reasons Why We Should Read Aloud to Children:

It activates the imagination.
It stimulates language development.
It promotes a love of books.
It encourages independent reading. 
It develops listening and reading stamina.
It builds background knowledge.
It provides a model of fluent reading.
Students encounter new vocabulary in context.
It offers and opportunity to use higher level thinking skills.
And...It's just plain fun!

March 6 is World Read Aloud Day.  I will be reading aloud to my students.  Then, they will "Read It Forward" by reading aloud to someone else (a younger student, friend, family member) that day.  How will you celebrate?

On an unrelated topic...The author of the beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog series, Norman Bridwell, turns 85 today.  :) 

Clifford is near and dear to my heart.  He was the mascot of my first grade classroom and a favorite storybook character of my students.  Happy Birthday, Norman Bridwell!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Accept the Challenge!

Accept the World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge!

Are you celebrating World Read Aloud Day?  It's an awareness day, held March 6, promoting worldwide literacy.  If you missed my post about it, you can read more *here*.  LitWorld has offered a challenge to bloggers that begins this week:

The World Read Aloud Day “Read It Forward” Blogging Challenge begins today and runs through March 6.  If you choose to take the challenge, each week you will be asked to write a post in response to a prompt, for a total of 4 posts counting down to World Read Aloud Day.

Each of the prompts addresses the theme “Read It Forward.”  Read It Forward describes the ripple effect of positive change that resonates around the world when we read aloud with others.

Week 1: February 10 – February 16

What do you think is special about reading aloud?

Your first mission is to answer this question.  After answering the prompt, share a short description of how you plan to celebrate WRAD on March 6.  Who will you celebrate with?  Where will you be?  If you have celebrated WRAD in the past, what activities brought you and those you celebrated with the most joy?

Week 2: February 17 - February 23

Now & Then

Answer the following questions twice.  The first time, answer how you would have when you were 10 years old (or any age from elementary school that you remember clearly) and the second time, answer in the present.

1. I think everyone in the world should read...

When I was 10:


(repeat this format for the remaining questions)

2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be...

3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is...

4. The genre that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is...

5. The last book I wish I’d written or inspired me to write my own story is...

Week 3: February 24 - March 2

A Snapshot of My Reading Life

Post a photo that gives readers a glimpse into your reading life. This could be your favorite place to read, your bookshelf, your library, a classroom, a book from childhood that you still re-read today, your favorite person to read with.  Anything that brings joy to your reading life will work!

Below the photo share a short narrative explaining why this picture is meaningful to you.

Week 4: March 3 - March 8
Read It Forward!

It’s time to read aloud! Select a favorite text, or a personal story that you love to share out loud, and make a video.  If you don’t have a webcam, or prefer not to be on camera, you can also translate this challenge into a written post.  Share what you will be reading on World Read Aloud Day, and why you chose this particular piece to read aloud.

I'm taking the challenge, and I hope you will too!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Read It Forward!

*March 6 is World Read Aloud Day*

Imagine a world where everyone can read...

March 6, 2013, is World Read Aloud Day, an awareness day advocating for literacy as a human right.  

Celebrate by reading aloud, giving away a book, or taking action in any way you can to "Read It Forward" on behalf of the 793 million people who cannot yet read or write.

World Read Aloud Day creates a community of people who are advocating for every child’s right to learn to read and access technology that will make them lifelong readers.  
Together, we can change the world!

Visit LitWorld to join the Read It Forward movement.  Register your participation and spread the word to friends, family, and colleagues!  

LitWorld offers free activity kits full of ideas for children, teens, families, and educators at

I'm celebrating World Read Aloud Day with my students.  Will you join me and "Read It Forward"?   :)