I’ve been spending some time going through all my documents that I have saved on my computer. There comes a time when you have to just trash some things in order to make room for new stuff. What surprised me were how many things I came across that made me want to share an idea. I just couldn’t bring myself to press that delete button until I wrote the thoughts somewhere else. I decided that each time I came across something of value, I’d blog about it so that I, and my readers, could reflect on it one more time before I press that button. Today’s idea is from a page where I had taken notes on an article I read.
In an article by Shari Frost in Choice Literacy a while back, Shari wrote about how distressed she was by the fact that many primary teachers were using their read aloud books for the purpose of strategy teaching and not just for the pleasure of enjoying a good story. Shari paraphrased another author (Patricia Cooper’s Language Arts article) who felt the same way. I found the quote valuable enough to copy down and save.
“Cooper believes that the ‘untaught story’ plays an important role in the literacy development of children. It supports the development of their imagination, increases their vocabulary, helps them develop a sense of story, builds the foundation for critical thinking, and teaches children to love books. These benefits can be jeopardized if every read aloud is attached to a comprehension lesson.”
Take a moment to ask yourself:
- How often do I use a picture book just for sheer enjoyment?
- Am I overusing what I know about strategy teaching by always thinking that my read aloud book has to have a strategy lesson attached?
- What messages am I sending to children about why we read books?
- Am I doing all I can to develop a love of books and stories with my students?
- Can I name three books that my students love to hear again and again just because they love them so much?
Teachers shouldn’t have to defend WHY they are reading aloud great books to their students. We all know the benefits, don’t we?