The Importance of Reading Aloud

In the next month, many of you will be returning to your classrooms to begin a new school year with an eager group of new faces waiting to see how things will go in your classroom. A wonderful gift that you can give your students of any age is to read aloud to them daily. For elementary students, this can be a picture book or a “classic” that would normally be just slightly beyond what your children might be able to read by themselves. For middle or high school, a daily read aloud might consist of a current news article, a magazine article, an internet article or even a biography or diary from the period you are studying.  Students love to listen to their teacher read. It is not only informative but also calming and relaxing and reminiscent of the times we spent on our mother’s knee listening to our favorite stories. When people are asked to reflect on what joyful experiences they had during their school years, being read to by the teacher is often on top of many people’s list.  For those children who did not have this wonderful, nurturing experience as children, helping children learn the joys of listening to good oral reading is even more important. If you have not used oral reading in your classroom, consider starting with even a poem or very short article. If you have, then keep reading aloud on a daily basis. You just may become the teacher that your students remember long after the ink on the graduation diploma has faded.