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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Increasing Vocabulary During Read-Aloud Time

Even though it's hot, dry July, let's fast forward to a sweeter time of year.  Let's say... the magical month of September!  The crisp air welcomes our kiddos back to school and our classroom routines actually become routines.  

One thing I will never, ever cut out of my first grade day is our Read-Aloud time.  After our lunch recess, students travel back in sweaty and tired and always ready to relax.  :)  Me, too!

So this is a perfect time for a read-aloud.  I don't care what grade you teach, Pre-K or 8th, you NEED this read-aloud time.  Even if it's ten minutes of your day, trust me, you NEED IT!  There is so, so much you can teach during this coveted time, even when the kiddos don't think they are learning.  But first, let's see my fave first grade read-alouds.

These are just a few of the many read-alouds we complete during the school year.  Longer chapter books, like Charlotte's Web, may take a month, while Junie B. Jones could be finished in half that time.  I love to align my books with the different seasons. Mouse and the Motorcycle is set in the summer, so we read that the last month of school and Charlotte's Web works perfect around October when we study spiders.  

I only read books I love to my students because they need to see you ENJOY the book along with them.  It really matters how you share the reading with students.  By weaving in questions and comments while they read, you are increasing their comprehension and vocabulary!

Here are a few strategies to help you do that:

QUESTIONING: "The word ______ is a tricky word.  What do you think it means?"
PROVIDE DEFINITION:  Giving the students a teacher generated definition.
PROVIDE SYNONYM:  Teacher repeats the tricky word and then gives a synonym for it.
PROVIDE EXAMPLE:  Making a connection by giving an example of how or where you could hear the tricky word.
CORRECT STUDENT RESPONSES:  Teacher clarifies student response on the tricky word.
EXTENSION:  Teacher extends a student generated definition.
IMAGERY:  Using gestures to provide visual meaning to the tricky word.

Now this may seem like quite a list to remember while you are enjoying a read-aloud with your students.  So I whipped up some Read Aloud Task Cards!  Print, laminate, and store on a ring for easy access.  Make it a goal to use at least one of these strategies a day during your read aloud time.

What if you already do this?  What if your students gobble up the read aloud time and want more?  I wanted to put the strategies in the hands of my students.  So I created an Interactive Read Aloud Notebook.  Print and staple/bind to store and bring out when you would like them to focus on a certain vocab word or just copy what you need that day.  

Happy summer, friends!  Thanks for stopping by! :)

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