professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Seeing it in action

I talk a great deal about how reading aloud and booktalking can motivate readers. Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen this assertion in action as my colleague Karin Perry and I conducted some staff development in a couple of districts in the greater Houston area. Karin will talk about some books (her favorites are dystopian novels of late) and participants will ooh and ahh at the end of the booktalks. There are at least a handful of folks who are ordering the books as we talk, too. Today, one of the participants told us at the end of the presentation that she had placed holds on about 25 books as we were talking. Many were available in school libraries within the district; others were in the public library in the area.

We read aloud a couple of books as well, picture books since time was limited. If we had elected to have copies of those books, I have no doubt that they would have been gone, too. As it is, lots of secondary folks commented that they attenders the session on picture books with some reluctance. However, after that part of the session was complete, we had won them over.

I will say again: it is not rocket science. We read aloud; we talk about books. People connect. It worked when I was teaching middle school. It worked when I taught preservice teachers. It still works with grad students and with teachers and librarians and administrators.

As schools return for a new semester, I hope everyone will recall how powerful and effective booktalks and reading aloud are year after year. There is research to support this, of course. But we also know when something is working. The response is there; we just need to be on the lookout for it.
Tags: booktalks, reading aloud
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