When we started Literacy First, I was kind of surprised that having a teacher-led read aloud was part of our whole group time. In the past we'd had our reading series dictate the story we read that week and we had a few novel studies on top of that. I always did a chapter book read aloud with my class on top of that, but I really didn't think that reading story books to third graders (or older) was all that necessary.
I've come to enjoy our read aloud time a lot, though, and it's given me a lot more opportunities to read a variety of stories to my students. We're supposed to incorporate a lot of non-fiction into our read alouds (about 50 or 60%).
Here are some of the books / themes that we've done this year:
- Pets / Animal Heroes
- Christopher Columbus
- Thanksgiving / Native Americans
- Johnny Appleseed
- Martin Luther King Jr. / Civil Rights
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle
- Muggie Maggie
- Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing
- Charlotte's Web
There are even more I would like to try to do in the future, but I just haven't had time to fit in or plan for! We also do some weeks where we just read stories and focus on a certain comprehension skill or text structure... For example, we might spend a week reading books and focusing on a skill like retelling or compare and contrast. Some themes extend more than just 1 week and the novel studies usually take about 2 weeks each.
My kids really love the nonfiction books and learning new things through these books. We're in the middle of our inventors unit right now and we studied old school inventors like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and now we're reading about Steve Jobs. They're loving it!
I wanted to share the reading planner than I created last spring again. It's been good for planning things out and it's definitely going to help me in doing some better planning for next year!
One of my current goals for now and into the summer is better organizing all of my theme resources. I'm considering some tubs like these:
|Image via Really Good Stuff|
Target also has some similar boxes... I think these would be perfect for putting my books and files for themes into one common spot and would be super convenient for sharing with my coworkers!
I'm hoping to get back into some school-related posts again in the coming weeks and months. Sometimes mid-year I get sick of even thinking about school when I'm not there, so blogging about it isn't exactly at the top of my list!