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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reading just for fun.

I have to admit something.

I read "Frog and Toad All Year" yesterday for 10 minutes and today for another 10 minutes just because I wanted to. I didn't tie it into the reading theme, (who are the characters, what's the setting, retell the story.) I didn't tie it into science, (what is the difference between a frog and a toad?) I didn't tie it into math, (If Toad went to sleep in November, and it is April now, how many months has he been sleeping?) I didn't tie it into social studies. I just got them ready to go home a few minutes early, gathered them on the rug once they were ready, and read to them. I mostly just read, and they mostly just listened, and I did comment on the fact that Frog just wanted to be with his friend, and Toad was feeling grumpy, but I didn't really dwell on anything.

It was great but I felt guilty the whole time which is ridiculous because who should ever feel guilty for reading something as wonderful as Frog and Toad?!

But if I was able to have those 10 minutes for Frog and Toad, shouldn't I have used them for something "better" like a mini-lesson on...something. I don't even know.

But Frog and Toad is good story, and the children liked it, and it made me happy and no one came in with an observation sheet at that moment looking for my objectives posted and trying to figure out what state standards I was or wasn't meeting, so it worked out okay.


Anonymous eiela said...

Don't ever feel guilty for just reading to the kids. They need to hear a story with no curriculum strings attached.
And if anybody ever asks, here's what you're working on when you're reading a story "just because": (So you can CYA if necessary)
enhancing children's oral vocabulary
plot structure: setting, climax, denoumont ?sp?
characters/character traits
If somebody walks in while you're just reading, throw in a question that kinda goes with one of those three, and you can say that's what you're working on with them.
(Isn't it ridiculous that you have to justify reading to the kids sometimes!?)

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sometimes, a read aloud is simply that - a read aloud.

We do them all the time in the higher grades - my fifth graders loved them last year and the little ones?

Oh, they simply adore it.

I loved scouring the public library for hours on end, searching for new, fun books to enjoy - whether I incorporated discussion about predictions, plot, and such.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Dree said...

I refuse to feel guilty or apologize for reading to my students without a lesson plan to back it up. I read to them every day. Sometimes I point out "educational things" without realizing it, but I think that's just habit at this point. The way I see it, there are a good portion of kids in my room that don't get read to at home. I think of our after lunch read-alouds as very early bedtime stories. And they LOVE it. Sometimes I'll read two books, just because I feel like it. And once in awhile, the kids manage to talk me into a third book... because I never refuse them where reading is concerned. Keep up the good work. And btw, Frog and Toad is an AWESOME choice. One of my favorites :)

9:08 PM  
Blogger La Brown Girl said...

Reading aloud and for pleasure is so important.

One thing we have really worked hard to incorporate into our school's literacy plan is allowing our students choice. This is why we did away with AR (Accelerated Reader). It was horrible to have ourstudents tied to specific texts because they felt they were required or they were getting some kind of grade. If this type of reading culture/identity could be built and fostered, we will create life-long readers.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How messed up is our educational system that you feel GUILTY for READING to your students?!??!?


You should make those last 10 minutes part of your regular routine. Children need to learn to read for fun, and if they're forced to overanalyze every word they read every single time they try to read anything, they'll never find the fun in it.

6:19 PM  

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