Saturday, January 18, 2014

Spark Student Motivation -- Student Read Alouds

Happy Saturday!!  The weather behaved and I actually worked five whole days this week.  I'm happy to be back into the swing of things and I think my kids are too.

Today I'm linking up with the oh-so-talented Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturday.  I really think that Joanne should change the name of this linky party to "Spark Teacher Motivation" because there are so many great ideas shared that really get me moving!  Just from reading Joanne's post, I can feel her energy and enthusiasm for teaching.  (I want to be like her when I grow up!  :)

So today I'd like to share an idea that came to me before break.  I had called my students to the reading rug to listen to the day's read aloud.  Right then, another teacher walked in and needed to have a brief conversation with me.  With the students waiting on the rug, one of my students got up, picked up a picture book from the table, and read it to the class.  She did such a great job, that the Student Read Aloud was born!

I simply hung up a monthly calendar and any student who wanted to sign up to read a short story to the class could. This was completely optional -- I didn't want to force anyone to do this.

To prepare, students would pick out a short story from our classroom or school library.  They would practice it for several days, then read it to the class on their chosen day.  In return for their reading, they would receive $20 in Collegiate Cash (our classroom economy money) and a Read Aloud Rockstar tag for their Book Genre Challenge necklace.
However, what they really received was improved FLUENCY and READING SKILLS, along with CONFIDENCE from speaking in front of a crowd.

It's a win/win all around!

Head on over to Head Over Heels for Teaching to find some more motivation for your students (or yourself!).  But before you go, I hope you will join me tomorrow for my weekly linky party, A Peek at My Week.


  1. I love this idea for practicing fluency. I do something similar for our weekly poem, but this would give students a bigger opportunity for practice. Thank you for sharing!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. Love that! I've handed off a book before when I had to talk to someone and it's so funny to hear the kids ask questions like I do and everything.

    Literacy Spark

  3. Isn't it funny how some of those great moments just happen? You can't really plan them the first time. I love the rocking chair! Wish I had room for something like that:).

  4. I love when unexpected things turn out to be some of our best ideas! What a great opportunity for your kids!

  5. Jennifer, could you see me smiling when I read your post? You made my day with your sweet, thoughtful words! You've motivated me today! xoxo
    I love when things happen accidentally, especially something AMAZING like a student taking the initiative to read to her peers (no academic downtime!)! Do your students ask questions during their reading too? It would be a great think aloud activity for them to model (I did this during summer school several years ago-very effective). Such a fabulous idea for so many reasons and little prep for you! Thanks for sharing and linking up friend!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. Jennifer I love this idea, and think that it could really be used across grade levels! I'm hoping to incorporate this when I start my poetry unit!
    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard


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