"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." Helen Keller

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Fran Richardson
Welcome to my blog!I'm a teacher in a beautiful, small, rural town. I moved here a few years ago, but I have taught over 20 years in this same small town that is now my home. My experience is in teaching second, third, and fourth grades with one year in sixth grade. I am always reading, learning, and reflecting on what goes on in my classroom. I love the work that I do with the parents, my fellow teachers, and most all-my students.I hope you will enjoy reading my blog.
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The Scholar, Age 5

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Read Alouds: Not Just for Little Kids

I just finished reading another chapter of Igniting A Passion for Reading by Steve Layne which prompted me to think about a part of reading that seems to be ignored often by  both schools and parents. By the time kids get into the intermediate grades ( grades 3-5)  and surely by middle school- the practice of a well-delivered read loud is  sadly very often gone. But this chapter also put me in mind of a heart-warming story that inspired and touched  me that was recently in the news:

Meet Alice Ozma!

Alice Ozma: The Reading Promise

Alice speaking to the American Library Association

Here is Alice’s website: Make A Reading Promise
And the CBS story featuring Alice’s  awesome dad, Jim Brozina…
Jim Brozina

Some people are not  as comfortable reading aloud as Jim Brozina. Parents often don’t feel they can read well to their own children, and likewise,  there are  many teachers  who often don’t feel that they do a good job reading aloud to their students. This is in evidence from a quote from author Mem Fox:
An American father once said to me: "So how do you do this read aloud thing?" I was almost too taken aback to answer. Wasn’t it obvious? Then I realised it wouldn’t be obvious if he hadn’t been read aloud to as a child. I wanted to say: "Well, you know—find a book, get a child, and sit down and read the book to the child," but it seemed so simple that I was too embarrassed to say it.
First of all, a good starting place then is to check out Mem Fox's Ten Read Aloud Commandments for the “how to” of delivering a good read aloud experience.

Second, there are so many great examples of read alouds online. Storyline has Screen Actor Guild members reading aloud like James Earl Jones, Melissa Gilbert, and Betty White although I will remind you: You don’t have to be a professional to do a great job!Smile

Finally, I would advise parents and teachers alike to HAVE FUN with your read alouds. When I read aloud to my  class, I am like a Shakespearean actor on the London stage. I am a little bit of a “Ms. Pricklepants” ( with a nod to my inspiration in Toy Story 3). I change my voices, act a little, and ham it up to send it over the top sometimes. Just enjoy yourself!

Mr. Pricklepants

Thanks for reading my blog, and “Happy Reading” to you!Red heart



"I bear the flame that enlightens the world. I fire the imagination. I give might to dreams and wings to the aspirations of men."
- Marva Collins, from her poem, "I Am Excellence."

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