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The joy of reading aloud - Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


When you tell a story, you spark a connection.

That is how humans have communicated since the beginning of time by telling stories. Stories have been told even before humans learned to read and write.

This is my story…

You had to earn the privilege to go outside to hear Miss read under the mango tree. Your nails had to be clean for the morning inspection, there must be no dog-ears in your copybooks, finger erasing was totally forbidden. Most importantly you had to get your "sums" and grammar exercises correct.

I can recall hearing the school bell echoing through hallways, ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling, we waited patiently for her announcement "we are going outside to read." At that moment, you would do a quick mental recall to ensure that you fulfilled the criteria to go outside under the mango tree.

She would call names, hearing your name was like winning the lotto. Single file, the class would march out like soldiers going to war, with all your senses engaged, eager to hear miss read in her expressive style. Our session used to very interactive, she always got us involved. My favourite story was "The Three Billy Goat Gruff," miss would have us trip trapping, over a pretend rickety bridge. I did not understand it then but she asked many open – ended questions.

[caption id="attachment_998309" align="alignnone" width="683"] Author and storyteller Mary Cuffy -[/caption]

However, not all the children had the opportunity to experience the joy of – Read alouds. Martin and Sherlan never adhered to any of the rules: they had to stay inside. They unfortunately missed the magic of read alouds.

What is World Read Aloud Day?

World Read Aloud Day will be celebrated on February 1; the day promotes diverse voices and narratives around the world. This is a day dedicated not just to reading, but also to the art and practice of reading aloud. Here are a few tips to help you plan and execute your best read aloud yet.

What is a Read Aloud?

Read-aloud is an instructional practice where teachers or parents, read texts aloud to children. The reader incorporates variations in pitch, tone, pace, volume, pauses, eye contact, questions, and comments to produce a fluent and enjoyable delivery.

Research has shown that read alouds improve comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Read alouds allow the teacher to model expert, fluent reading of the text. Read alouds also give children experience with decontextualised language–requiring students to make sense of ideas beyond the classroom.

[caption id="attachment_998296" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Books available at My Reflections Children's Bookstore, Red Edge Mall, St James. - AYANNA KINSALE[/caption]

The following steps are crucial to enacting a powerful classroom read aloud.

1. Set the stage

There is an artfulness to a good read aloud. Setting the stage is important. Consider where and how you will sit to make sure all students can see the book. Think about how you can create a sense of comfort and community so that students feel that read-aloud t

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