Today pre-first and first grade students attended an Arts & Education Program entitled Animal Adventures. They learned about skunks, geckos, snapping turtles, lemurs, and more. Ask your child all about it!
Today I spent the morning with Grace, Elise and Amrita. They did a wonderful job with morning announcements an chose "You're A Grand Old Flag" as the song for the day. They also helped me to bundle the donated hats, scarves and mittens for the Make A Wish Foundation. We collected 33 hats, 65 pairs of gloves or mittens, 8 scarves and 21 sets of mittens, hats and scarves! Thank you for your generosity!
Making the Best Use of Read-Alouds(Originally titled “Why Every Class Needs Read-Alouds”)
“The read-aloud is like the Swiss Army knife of literacy,” says Laura Varlas in this article in Education Update; “it has multiple uses at every age and in every content area.” Literacy expert Regie Routman agrees about the value of reading aloud: “It slows us down, relaxes us, reminds us of the joy and inspiration of a well-crafted story. Being read to puts us in the frame of mind for learning and increases literacy achievement.” Read-alouds are different from shared reading, where students have a copy of the text and there are frequent interruptions for instruction, jotting on sticky notes, or skill practice. With read-alouds, there are fewer pauses and the teacher is pursuing a number of possible objectives:
- Modeling effective reading;
- Exposing students to texts they can’t yet decode by themselves (children’s reading level doesn’t catch up to their listening level until around 8th grade);
- Building academic vocabulary and knowledge, especially for ELLs;
- Previewing information, themes, or text structures;
- Creating a bridge to more complex texts
- Showing how texts connect with one another;
- Providing an exemplar of a genre of writing;
- Providing a scaffold for students’ subsequent reading and writing;
- Creating a bond between teacher and students;
- Promoting a love of reading.
A common misconception is that read-alouds aren’t appropriate after age 10. With the right text and delivery, says Varlas, reading aloud can be a classroom staple for older students as well. Some teaching pointers for reading aloud at any grade:
- Choose a great book with a clear purpose, curriculum connections, and cultural relevance.
- Don’t shy away from non-fiction, which can be compelling.
- Picture books can work at any age.
- Pre-read the text before class.
- Don’t worry if students don’t understand every word; one goal is to stretch vocabulary and knowledge.
- Cue students to listen for a big idea or connection.
- Ham it up; vary tone, volume, and speed, and use gestures.
- Invite the principal to observe or take part.
- Don’t interrupt with a lot of instructional points and literal comprehension questions.
- But do pause to clarify a tricky word, make a connection, or ask a higher-order question like, “Why do you think the mother had that look on her face? What other experiences might she have had that made her not trust this person?”
- Aim for lively, academic conversations during or after a read-aloud, and perhaps follow-up activities like writing a letter or doing a research report.
- Abandon a book that’s clearly not working.
“Why Every Class Needs Read-Alouds” by Laura Varlas in Education Update, January 2018 (Vol. 60, #1, p. 2-3, 6), http://bit.ly/2rxtP25
May at a Glance
PTO Meeting, 8:15
May 3, 4 Kindergarten Screening (incoming K students)
Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information Night, 6:30 P.M.
Teacher Appreciation Week
May 10 Celebration of Community Night, 6:00 P.M.
Early Release, Teacher Professional Development, 12:20 dismissal
SAC, 5:30 P.M.
Parent/Child Lunch Kindergarten
Parent/Child Lunch Grade 1
Parent/Child Lunch Grade 2
Incoming First Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 P.M.
Mrs. Post’s Authors Share, 2:00 P.M.
Memorial Day – No School