Monday, January 30, 2012

January Read-Alouds

Apparently, many people put a lot of effort into choosing books for read-alouds. They compile lists of books they want to read aloud to their kids, revisit the same book again for younger children, research lists of good read-aloud books, etc. Some are very choosy about the level of read-aloud books. Some will only read books a few years above the child's reading level. Some choose only books right around their child's reading level. Some choose YA or adult level books only. Some are very choosy about genre. Some read only classics, often saying it's to balance the 'fluff' their child reads. Some choose only books they feel will expose the child to certain concepts or ideas. I was truly astonished at the level of effort people put into choosing books for a read-aloud. Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. It is quite different from the way I do it, though.
I put pretty much no effort into choosing read-aloud books. I don't have a list of books to read aloud. I don't do searches to find out what other people do as read-alouds for certain grades. I don't worry about what level the read-aloud book is. I don't stick to a certain genre. I don't stick to books of a certain length. Honestly, much of the time we choose books at random. We will wander around the library & I will suddenly stop and point to a shelf. We will then grab a book from that shelf & it's our next read-aloud. If we finish the read-aloud before our next library trip, I'll grab something from our shelves at home. The only criteria I have are that the book is appropriate for Jay & that he has not read it. The most effort I put into choosing a read-aloud is if there is a book that I am convinced he'll like, but he refuses to read (because he doesn't believe he'll enjoy). I put in a little more effort when finding a read-aloud for school, but not much.

Since I don't plan our read-alouds ahead of time, I can't post a list of what we will read-aloud. So, here's a list of what we did read-aloud. These are our read-alouds for January (not for school):

The Carnival of Lost Souls
A Wrinkle in Time
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Killer Pizza: The Slice - we didn't realize that this one was a sequel until after we picked it up; we went ahead & read it anyway. We'll be finishing it tomorrow (January 31st).