Today’s That Thing You Do! segment showcases all those teachers who know and leverage the power of the read-aloud. This is the day we pay homage to the mighty read-aloud even though it plays a critical role in many classrooms every day.
I have gone back again and again to Burkins and Yaris book, Who’s Doing the Work; How to Say Less So Readers Can Do More. There couldn’t be a more perfect excerpt to drive home the power of the read-aloud–
Throughout the various phases of standards-based instruction, read-aloud has been ostracized to some degree. The diminishment–and even complete loss–of read-aloud in classrooms drains energy from reading work and contributes to factory-style education, where only educational investments with obvious, immediate test-score payoffs warrant instructional time. Recognizing that read-aloud is a long-term investment in students’ growth and development–as humans, as members of a community, and as readers–teacher are increasingly reclaiming its important role. The read-aloud provides a context as the child becomes absorbed in the text and the power of the meaning-making experience and says, “I want to do that.”
So, today we celebrate World ReadAloud Day, but we also celebrate those teachers who make time in the learning day to read to kids. It’s a powerful instructional tool to model proficient reader behaviors, but equally as important as Burkins and Yaris shared, it grows kids into a community of readers along with their teacher as their hearts are knit together through the magic of books.