Tag Archives: In Defense of Read Aloud

4 Reasons to Start Blogging Again


I’m joining Ruth Ayres for Celebration Saturday. To see all of today’s posts head over to Ruth Ayres Writes.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on my own blog to post. I’ve been thinking for weeks (actually months), Maybe I’ll jump into Slice of Life Tuesday this week, or Poetry Friday might be a good day to start posting again. What I’m Reading Monday is an easy place to pick back up. But no. Summer, and all that extra time, came and went.

Here I am, a long time later, finally re-entering the world of blogging, because I have too much to celebrate, and no excuses for putting it off another minute.  So, with no further procrastination:

#1 Makerspaces

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Students are loving the new makerspaces added to the media center this year. Currently, we have three: arts and crafts, Legos, and STEM problem solving kits. I’ve divided all of my 2nd and 3rd grade classes into three or four groups, so each week a different group gets makerspace passes. I’d love to hear how other media centers are incorporating makerspaces into their daily schedule.

#2 One School, One Book


I read Cynthia Lord’s A Handful of Stars in January, and I knew that it had to be the one book that all of our elementary students got to hear this school year.  The story of Lily and Salma is resonating with our students, staff, and community members who have joined together to explore Lord’s themes of friendship, acceptance, and bravery.  More than 250 students ordered their own copies, and we’re looking forward to an author visit later this fall!


#3 Read Aloud

steven layne

I had the opportunity to talk about read aloud with Pre-K – 5th grade teachers this past week. After hearing Steven Layne speak at ILA15 and reading his newest book In Defense of Read Aloud, I knew that his research and message would support the great read aloud work that teachers are already doing, as well as inspire a renewed dedication and intentionality about one of our most honored practices.  I’m excited that at least fifteen teachers already signed up for my first PD book club of the year using Layne’s text.

#Just Keep Reading

During the last fifteen minutes of each library period, students move about to borrow books, read online, or work at the makerspaces.  I love the conversations I get to have with students in this time.  As I was sitting with J this week, he asked me to read to him from the Minecraft Handbook while he built a game-inspired castle with Legos.  I tried to tempt with him with several new picture books I thought were perfect for him (and which I deemed a far better use of read aloud time), but he was insistent. So, I began on page one, reading aloud what seemed to me a foreign language, monotonous verbiage about game pieces and combat moves. After a few minutes, he appeared to be engrossed in his building, and my voice kind of drifted off, stopping, as I looked around to see what everyone else was doing.

“JUST KEEP READING!” he shouted after moment.

And so I did.

And it was perfect.



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