Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Read Alouds Online? Check out StoryBookOnline!

I love love love Read Alouds. Here's why:

  • Read Alouds are enjoyable (entertaining) for kids of all ages
  • They encourage a love of reading- who wouldn't love cuddling up and hearing a good story?
  • Kids are able to listen to text above their reading level which helps them to learn new vocabulary and improve listening comprehension
  • Reading Alouds improve fluency. When kids hear competent readers read, they learn how to read out loud well and began to mimic the master reader's expression, intonation, rate, phrasing, etc... 
  • Read Alouds engage students that struggle with reading 
  • Reading a chapter book (non picture book), can help transitional readers build confidence- so they feel ready to tackle chapter books independently
  • They widen students' perspectives and build background knowledge
  • Read Alouds are especially essential for non-native speakers for all the reasons mentioned above
  • They are an excellent way to teach/introduce a complex subject. I especially love using read alouds to teach middle/high schoolers about history. There are moving picture books about Hiroshima, the Japanese Internment in the US, affects of radiation, civil rights, slavery, etc...

Check out Storyline Online to hear quality picture books read by members of the screen actors guild. I discovered this site a couple of months ago. My students like using this site at home to listen to the books online. Many of my students' parents do not speak English, so this is a great way for them to build their fluency, background knowledge, and vocabulary.

Here's a couple way to use this site:
  • You can sit with your student/child as they listen to these books online. Then you can have a conversation about what they read. What did the characters learn? Did this remind them of another book (why?)? What was the most important part of the story? What questions do you have after reading?
  • If you're a teacher, you can use this as a listening center in your classroom.
  • Have your child/student listen to these books independently. Talk to them about the stories afterwards. 
  • Have your child/students read the stories multiple times.
  • Turn the volume off, and have your child/students retell the story in their own words.
  • Turn the captions on; this helps with word learning! Seeing the words at the bottom of the screen AND hearing them read is an excellent way to build a student's vocabulary.
  • Use the provided activities to extend learning.
What are your favorite books to read aloud?

Read On!

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