Reading is power and power is reading. This year, reading has been happening: in groups, with teachers, individually. As we celebrate Read Aloud Month at JVLR, parents have been in to classrooms reading; there have been reading workshops for parents; students are carrying on with their guided reading sessions; different grades are reading to each other; students are dropping everything and reading at a certain time every day (DEAR time).
Our focus has been on reading comprehension or what students understand by their reading. With practice, students gain fluency, and with some guidance from teachers, they learn to decode, but what we really want from reading is the ability to think and learn and discuss.
In our guided reading groups happening, students are learning the power of pausing as they read. As one student said to me the other day, "I love going slowly with books, and I like our discussions." Coming from a student who loves to race through books, it was wonderful to hear. We are focusing on slowing down and enjoying books.
With parents, over the last two weeks, we have discussed read alouds and the research behind it. Thank you to all the parents who took the time to come in for the discussions. There is research behind the power of reading aloud. It opens up worlds for our children who can understand so much more when being read to. It gives us time to pause and bond with our children. Reading aloud is a chance to read and discuss different lives and emotions. Overall, reading with understanding allows us to experience empathy.
I've uploaded presentations from the two read aloud sessions: one for early years and the other aimed toward primary parents.
Take some time to look through the presentations. Come to the book exhibition happening on student-led conference day. And read to your children every day.