“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”
― Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook

“If we are always reading aloud something that is more difficult than children can read themselves then when they come to that book later, or books like that, they will be able to read them – which is why even a fifth grade teacher, even a tenth grade teacher, should still be reading to children aloud.  There is always something that is too intractable for kids to read on their own.” – Mem Fox

Hands down the thing I miss most about being in a school building is reading aloud to students!  It didn’t matter what grade I was teaching (or visiting as a principal) I could sit and read aloud ALL day and be completely satisfied.  As a teacher my students would beg me to keep reading, especially my more reluctant readers and for good reason….

The benefits of reading aloud to children of ALL AGES is undeniable, here’s just a few:

  • It allows students to experience the joy of a story (without having to struggle to decode or comprehend by themselves)
  • Reading aloud models fluent reading
  • Students are able to expand their vocabulary through read aloud as their auditory comprehension is higher than independent reading comprehension
  • Selecting different genres and authors to read during read aloud encourages students to broaden their horizons and make different text selections for their independent reading
  • You can use read alouds as a way to teach and reinforce SEL standards – For example, a great way to teach empathy without the class actually having experienced the event would be through the eyes of the characters in a story.
  • Reading aloud to students increases students long term reading success
  • It is FUN for everyone!!!

Every summer I would spend countless hours researching and reading books to ensure I picked just the right text for my read alouds for the upcoming year.  Of course, my selections would always change based off of the group of students I had that year, their interests, etc.; however; keeping up with great literature to share with my kiddos was invaluable to me.

This past year I had that awesome pleasure of attending Kane County Regional Office of Education’s Literacy Leaders Networking meetings.  These meetings were bi-monthly collaboration meetings with Literacy coaches, facilitators, teachers, etc. across Kane County. I thoroughly enjoyed these meetings and learned something new at each meeting! At one of the meetings I attended we discussed “The Global Read Aloud”.  I was surprised that this project was created in 2010, I had never heard of it but was intrigued.  

I have marked my calendar…October 1, 2018 kicks off The Global Read Aloud for this school year.  Although I don’t have a school or classroom of my own to engage in this project with, I will be reading the selected texts to “my mini-me”, my PreK daughter whose favorite activity is having me read to her or her reading to her students (her dolls and stuffed animals)!!  The creator of The Global Read Aloud, Pernille Ripp, selects books for young children as well as other books for the older.  

One of the main reasons I am so energized by this project is because of the global connections it inherently provides.  Connecting students of all ages to the world outside their classroom prepares them for their future which will be even more hyper-connected than it is now.  Providing students with a global perspective creates empathy, increases geographic awareness, promotes online safety and reinforces digital citizenship, and so much more!  

This year The Global Read Aloud has selected the following text for amazing connections to stem from. There is something for everyone throughout this project, here are the 2018 book selections:

I would love to hear your suggestions/advice if you have participated in The Global Read Aloud in the past. If you haven’t participated before and would like to do so please connect with me so we can collaborate and share ideas/resources!

For more information about The Global Read Aloud project or to sign up to participate click here.

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

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