I know I have posted before about how much I love reading aloud to groups of kids. How lucky I am that in the library that is something that is expected of me. I also loved, loved, loved reading chapter books to my students when I was in a classroom. Even though I taught first grade for the majority of my classroom years, we managed to read some very interesting and wonderful books together. I also recall my own parents reading chapter books to me- my dad sitting in our red bean bag enjoying his after supper cigarette while reading me The Bad Times of Irma Baumlein and Summer Pony. In second grade our teacher read Caddie Woodlawn to us, in 3rd it was James and the Giant Peach, in fifth it was How to Eat Fried Worms. Sometimes I wonder why I don't have more very specific memories of books being read to me. I am hoping my own children recall that part of their childhood quite vividly. I also wonder why my mother, a teacher, didn't read aloud to us much after we learned to read to ourselves. Even though my oldest daughter can read, I still read to her each night before bed. Reconsidering Read-Aloud by Mary Lee Hahn is a professional book I am reading right now that reiterates everything I believe about reading to my students and daughters. While I am not done with the book yet, there are some important quotes I have highlighted in my reading that I am going to share from time to time:
"Read aloud may look like an ordinary event in a typical classroom, but it feels extraordinary when the teacher who is reading is aware of the power of the book and the importance of her role in not only reading to her students, but leading them through the book - using read aloud as a teaching time (Hahn, 1)."
"...but the value you personally place on books and reading is made evident in hundreds of subtle ways during read aloud and the talk that surrounds and is a part of read aloud (Hahn, 8)."
Jen Robinson at Jen Robinson's Book Page has a wonderful post about reading aloud to children, too. To read what she has to say about this article, click here.