In our post on The Importance of Being Earnest, we looked at why books are so important and why we should encourage children to read more. But, there is also a very strong case for reading out loud to your class.
Often, teachers who share a story with their class will experience that most valuable of situations – a whole class listening attentively, eyes glued to the front of the classroom, and a mass groan when the book is closed!
Sharing a story with your class benefits all children, not just those who are reluctant readers. While confident readers may be able to select appropriate materials and enjoy reading them, they often still enjoy listening to an adult read out loud.
Encourage adventurous reading
You may choose a book which the majority of your class wouldn’t pick, either in terms of genre or content. Or, you could pick a story which is slightly above the normal reading ability of your class.
Sharing a story which captures your pupils’ imagination may help them to develop an interest in reading and can entice them to try different books they may not otherwise choose.
Hone comprehension skills
Reading aloud to your class also provides you with more chances to develop their comprehension skills. Taking away the added complication of a child having to segment and blend phonics, as well as decoding what they’re actually reading, means that children are able to concentrate on understanding the story.
Sometimes, children who struggle with comprehension activities can feel a bit overwhelmed by having to use so many skills in one short activity. So, when you stop at vital points, why not ask the children what they think will happen next? What clues have made them think that? How they would feel if they were that character?
Share your love of reading!
When a teacher picks a book that they love, they model their passion for reading as well as demonstrating how fluent reading will sound. Talk to your children about why you’ve picked that particular book, why you love it, and what other books are similar.
Make book talk a regular part of your teaching day and become comfortable with slight diversions as you encourage your pupils to absorb what they’ve read and make connections with their own lives.