When was the last time you read aloud to someone?
When was the last time someone read aloud to you?
My commute used to be two hours per day. (Now it is 10 minutes! That is an upgrade). I become reliant on podcasts to try to satisfy my insatiable quest for knowledge. It also seemed like a reasonable activity to pass the time with.
I struggle with audiobooks. There are few books I can tolerate the whole text on audio. I find this odd. I also have an internal fight with myself about whether audiobooks “count” as reading. I have seen the research that the brain doesn’t know the difference, but my reading mind has a different opinion.
The Overdrive app from the library is the way I choose to sample audiobooks. I keep trying. The one book I have listened to with success is The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern. If you have not read it, and you like magic and adventure I highly recommend it. The Starless Sea is also a treasure.
I made the connection that audiobooks and podcasts are simply me being read aloud to. Something that is a cornerstone of my classroom, and probably yours as well. There is nothing that inspires and sparks conversation and writing like a good piece of text.
There is an art to reading aloud. There is a pizazz that is needed. It should not be tortured or boring or “just something that needs to happen.” The magic of reading comes through your voice and expression and is a good read aloud. I think this is what I search for in a podcast as well. The voice matters.
Reading and writing are so connected aren’t they? I tell students all the time to please write how they talk because I do not want to read the same pice of writing from my class. Anything can be boring if you have to read it 20 times!
When I was a reading specialist I was honored to know a woman who would read aloud in a meeting and transport us into the book. She was a wise reading specialist and full of experience that I learned from every time I spoke with her.
Lester Laminack can also read aloud to me any time and I am transfixed! His book, Saturdays and Teacakes is a wonderful picture book memoir.
There is a quote that reading aloud should be like chocolate, not vitamins – or maybe I just made that up. Read alouds should be treats, and sometimes just done for fun. Yes, as teachers we are always looking for the craft lesson. Fun is a lesson too.
We cannot encourage reading for fun if we never model it.
I like to think that I listen to podcasts as a substitute for being read aloud to. It makes my heart happy and my soul too.
The magic of read aloud is a talent that many teachers possess and is key to exciting children to read. I hope that I continue to find audio books that are worth the time. Any suggestions in the comments are welcome!
This Spring, reading aloud looked different for my students. Many links to authors reading their books and Bitmoji classrooms with themed read alouds were used. I also read aloud on Screencastify which was a whole new experience. I never realized how many faces I make to emphasize the sentences!
However you read today may it be fun! You never know though – you might get inspired along the way.
If you need something new to listen to my podcast on Friday will be all about education. Pop on over to Soundcloud and take a listen. The Accidental Inspirationalist is always less than 10 minutes! Listen Here!