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Teachers Reading Aloud


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I'm writing my dissertation on teachers teachers reading aloud in the classroom and the effects it has on children's literacy development. It would be really helpful if anybody could give me their views on the importance of reading aloud (or storytelling without a book), or even if you think it is a waste of time and why you feel this way.

 

I understand that most people on here will be working in the Foundation Stage, but if any of you have previous experience of other key stages I would be interested to know if reading aloud is valued as much as the children get older. Also, what do you consider to be factors that prevent reading aloud in the classroom?

 

Many thanks, Lynn.

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I feel reading aloud and storytelling are very important for the development of language. One of the reasons is that for most children the books are at a level that is above what they could read and are therefore being exposed to more advanced language which helps in their own storytelling as well as understanding texts. You can also get a lot of discussion from the texts. Many children miss out on bedtime stories at home so by reading in school it means that they are all getting this experience. Storytelling is also important because it allows you to be more animated and expressive. You can also use the children's ideas in the story. There is also benefit from very simple stories as they soon can join in or read the book independently which gives them great confidence for reading.

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I hope reading aloud is valued with older children. I still remember being read to as a whole class, I'd have my head on the desk or be lying under the tree on the playing field. It was a time to just imagine pictues from the story and let your mind drift into other worlds. It was the best bit of school for me so I hope it still happens.

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Does reading aloud to your own children count? I still read to my 10 year old - he loves it. He also tells me when they have guided reading at school and is full of enthusiasm. I think it's an extremely valuable part of literacy and necessary for developing good listening and cognitive skills.

Sam

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Wow, thanks to those of you who have alteady replied! Your comments are all very relevant and heplful.

Rea, you've given me the idea to point out that story time does not always have to take place on the carpet!

Sam, reading to your own child certainly does count and I am including that as a feature for my dissertation.

Marion, thanks for the link, I've already printed it off and it's made me think about looking at the work of Pie Corbett.

 

Thanks everyone!

Lynn.

 

PS...I've got an interview for a job in a reception class next week...wish me luck!

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I didn't read when I was younger, I managed to 'slip through the net' at primary school and my reading was at a 6 year olds level when I went to Senior school, all my early reading experiences were adults reading aloud. I loved stories. I still do. If all else fails at my preschool we always finish the day with a story.

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Thank you Shiny, your comment sums up my dissertation in a nut shell...reading aloud is definately worthwhile! If only i didn't have to use 10,000 words to say that!

 

In fact I think I might email my tutor and ask if I can quote you in my work. If she says I can do I have your permission?

 

Lynn.

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I also think that it is important to TELL a story to children sometimes without a book. Children are bombarded with visual stimuli with TV and computers, and also with books. Sometimes it is good to just tell a story and let their minds create the pictures themselves, and also for them to focus on listening. Funnily enough children have told me that they haven't had a story the first few times I do this, and when asked why they usually say that is because there are no pictures or no book. When you tell a story in this way you can make constant eye contact with the children, and pull them into the tale.

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There's a lovely chapter in Foundations of Literacy on Storytelling that discusses it.

The chapter argues that for many of today's children listening to a story is a thing of the past and they are viewers who watch a story on a screen so that stories have no voice. This can lead to them seeing a story as a whole rather than a beginning middle and end.

The book argues that story telling is an excellent way of increasing children's vcabulary, knowledge of sentence structure and confidence.

Well worth looking at.

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I think it's important to make sure that what you are reading is engaging the children. There is nothing worse than a group of children being made to sit quietly and listen to a story which bores them rigid. I think that can do far more harm than good.

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My preschool group have just finished narrating and illustrating their own story book. It features guest appearances by Charlie & Lola, snow white, dragons, zoo animals, a naughty boy(!) pancakes,a fridge, a polar bear and a big chocolate biscuit! It was such a fab experience doing this with them and gaining insight into which stories have made an impact on them, especially when they tell their bit with expression and feeling! IT's quite funny when you can hear yourself in them isn't it!

Sam

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Sadly I am nearly 42 (doesn't time fly) and my abiding memory of my primary school is my teacher reading 'The Hobbit' and the voice she used for Gollum to say 'my precious' has always stayed with me.

 

Like most things, when things are done well by dedicated and talented people it can have a lasting effect.

 

Sue

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