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MTYT: Piano Starts Here

This post continues February’s My Take/Your Take conversation on books that have won the Schneider Family Award for their portrayal of the disability experience. The conversation started with The Deaf Musicians, A Splash of Red and The Pirate of Kindergarten, and continues this week with Piano Starts Here.

My Take Your Take, global perspectives, Piano Starts Here Continue reading

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MTYT: The Pirate of Kindergarten

This post continues February’s My Take/Your Take conversation on books that have won the Schneider Family Award for their portrayal of the disability experience. The conversation started with The Deaf Musicians and A Splash of Red, and continues this week with The Pirate of Kindergarten.

My Take Your Take, global perspectives, The Pirate of Kindergarten Continue reading

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MTYT: The Deaf Musicians

The four of us (Desiree, Maria, Megan and Susan) are picking up where we left off in August 2016’s My Take / Your Take — looking at books that won the Schneider Family Award for the portrayal of the disability experience. We looked at five global picture books in our previous discussion, and now we are shifting our attention to four other award winners, this time set in the U.S. The first is The Deaf Musicians.

My Take Your Take, global perspectives, The Deaf Musicians Continue reading

Books for Read Alouds

By Dr. Megan McCaffrey and Dr. Katy E. Hisrich, Governors State University
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I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.
-J.K. Rowling

While it is important to know how to read aloud, it is also important to know what to read aloud. There is a vast number of books for children. Ipso facto it may prove daunting and even difficult to make selections for a read aloud. Continue reading

Characteristics of Read Alouds

By Dr. Megan McCaffrey and Dr. Katy E. Hisrich, Governors State University

Last week, we discussed the importance and benefits of read alouds. We know that read alouds offer numerous benefits and have significant impact on a child’s literacy skills and language development. Now the question remains, “what are the best practices for a read aloud?” This week, we will focus on the characteristics of read alouds. This is includes the factors that one should consider when conducting a read-aloud. I think about this using a simple acronym: P-E-T. Purpose-Environment-Technique.

characteristics of read alouds

Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Susan Guevara

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Why Read-Alouds?

by Megan McCaffrey, Katy E. Hisrich, Governors State University

Read-AloudsFor the previous five months, we gathered data from Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers regarding characteristics and practices of read-alouds in their classrooms. Using the data from our survey and other research, we will focus on a key aspect of read-alouds in each weekly blog, sharing guidelines for best practices and providing applications through examples, as well as offering a variety of resources. This month we will cover:

Week 1: Benefits and Importance of Read-Alouds
Week 2: Characteristics of Read-Alouds
Week 3: Books for Read-Alouds
Week 4: Planning & Instruction for Read-Alouds
Week 5: Extending Read-Alouds

Benefits & Importance of Read Alouds

In 1986, Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading declared that “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” Backed by research, this statement highlights the importance read alouds play in the development of reading. The list of benefits while not exhaustive is extensive.

Read-AloudsReading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox

The most obvious benefit of a read aloud is that it brings enjoyment to those being read to. Everybody loves a good story. Almost from the beginning of time stories have been one of our most fundamental methods for communicating with one another. Whenever a person hears a story, they naturally try to relate it to one of their existing experiences. Listeners make connections with stories and in a reciprocal relationship stories validate our experiences and our experiences provide for new stories to share. While listening to stories, many areas of our brain are activated by the stimulus of living through a vicarious experience. Stories innately develop a listener’s interest in books (stories) and the desire to be a reader.

Read-AloudsHow the Brain Learns to Read by David A. (Anthony) Sousa

Read alouds provide opportunities to build community within the classroom while also learning about other places and cultures. Stories help to build a sense of community when they are shared by a group. Stories help explain how things work, people make decisions, justify decisions, persuade, understand our planet and others, create identities, and define social values among many others explanations for the way our world works.

Read-AloudsIn Defense of Read-Aloud: Sustaining Best Practice by Steven L. Layne

Reading aloud has many instructional and literacy benefits in addition to the social benefits mentioned. For teachers, read alouds offer an engaging platform to model literacy strategies and fluency for students. Repeated readings provide opportunities for scaffolding so that instruction can be of a developmentally appropriate nature and amount. Direct literacy benefits to children include: developed understanding of how a story works, familiarity with book conventions, vocabulary development, and an increase in comprehension.

References

Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M. G. (2001). Text talk: Capturing the benefits of read-aloud experiences for young children. Reading Teacher, 55, 1, 10-20.

Dickinson, D. K., & Smith, M. W. (1994). Long-term effects of preschool teachers’ book readings on low-income children’s vocabulary and story comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 29, 2, 104-22.

Neuman, S., Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2000). Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriate practices for young children. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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