Thursday, March 10, 2011

March Madness

I'm not sure what "March Madness" means in your part of the world, but at Chets Creek it means that the Principal is coming for a read aloud. Susan Phillips does one of the best read alouds in the building. She was a kindergarten teacher and you can tell the moment she starts to read aloud. She dropped into my class to read the 2001 Chets Creek Book-of-the-month, Apple Batter, yesterday. Not only was the book a delightful story about perseverance that the children LOVED, but the Principal guided my students through a question and answer session to help them think deeper about the characters and the story line.

As a Leadership Team we have identified read aloud as the starting place to deepen our children's comprehension skills in our building. While we want children to think deeply so that they are ready for our state assessment beginning in third grade, comprehension is about so much more than the ability to answer tricky questions on a state assessment! We want our children to fall in love with stories. We want them to beg us to finish reading a story that we have started in class. We want them to sneak books home and read them under the covers after lights out. We want them to speed through breakfast so they can get to school and share the latest adventure with a friend that they read the night before. In other words, we just want them to leave elementary school in love with reading. We believe we can do this by talking about books and choosing books that make children emotional - whether the book makes them excited, happy, sad or boiling mad! That is why Mrs. Phillips is spending time with every single classroom of students. Besides, she really likes spending time with kids! It's one of her favorite things to do!
Listen to a piece of the story to see just what the Principal is doing during OUR March madness!

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