Saturday, January 2, 2016

How to Make Read-Alouds Meaningful

Have you ever been asked told to incorporate a new model, a new curriculum, or a new strategy in your classroom but are not given the resources to do it, or at least teach it in a way you feel is meaningful?

Yea. Me too.

We are incorporating a balanced literacy approach this year in my district but we have had very little training and no resources.  It's frustrating to say the least.

Balanced literacy, in short, is the reader's workshop model by Lucy Caulkins.  In sum, we begin each reader's workshop with a 10-15 reading mini-lesson and then send the kiddo's off for 15-30 minutes of reading.

I will be honest and has been the best of times..... and it has been the worst of times.

I think the problem lies in my lack of confidence teaching something that I just don't feel confident in teaching.  Am I doing right?  Is this what I am supposed to be doing? Have I taught them enough strategies?  Are they fluent readers? How is their reading comprehension? Can they retell a story in sequence with details?

I have spent countless hours searching Pinterest, googling reader's workshop lessons, searching Teachers Pay Teachers, watching You Tube videos, and reading Lucy Caulkins (Have you ever read Lucy Caulkins?  It was painful people....painful.).

Lisa from Pawsitively Teaching popped up in my follower emails from Teachers Pay Teachers the other day with a new product called Winter Read Alouds and wow!  Just wow! I am heading back to school on Monday feeling sooo much better about how I will teach with a balanced literacy method.  I feel like I have a set of tools that I haven't had before.

I now have a few months of balanced literacy lessons right at my fingertips.  It is so amazing I just had to blog about to let others know about it in case someone else is in the same boat as me. 

Well...welcome aboard.  This is cruise director Julie and I'm going to help you set sail by showing how you can use this resource to help you with your read alouds in the classroom.

You can use it in small groups, or in large groups.  It's life changing.  Seriously. It's that good.

Here are Lisa's tips for making read alouds successful in your classroom:

Each book comes with a lesson for each read aloud that looks like this:
To break it down further this is how the lesson plan is set up:
Graphic organizers are also included:
The Mitten lesson shown in this post is available for FREE in Lisa's store here.
You can get all of these titles:

The Mitten by Jan Brett
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg
Penguin and Little Blue by Megan McDonald
Snow Globe Family by Jane O'Connor
Blizzard by John Rocco
Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner
Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Hessner
The Turnip by Jan Brett
The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
Brave Irene by William Steig
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
The Hat by Jan Brett
Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright
The Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson
Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler
Akiak: A Tale from the Iditarod by Robert Blake
and these skills:
Making Inferences
Story Elements
Using Context Clues
Cause and Effect
Problem and Solution
Compare and Contrast
Making Predictions
Figurative Language
Character Traits
and Many More
in her Winter Read Alouds product for purchase here.  It's 2 months worth of read alouds/lessons for about the cost of a coffee and donut. I know that these days....
I could do without the donut
but I can't do without the 2 months worth of reading lessons!
You can find Lisa from Pawsitively Teaching blog about this product here or visit her Teacher's Pay Teacher's store, Pawsitively Teaching here.

How do you make the most of read aloud time in your classroom?

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