Penny Kittle Chapters 5 & 6 ~ Reading Aloud to Students

All during my elementary teaching years, reading aloud to students was the one thing that I held sacred. No matter the schedule, I always made sure to find time to read to the students. Unfortunately, since moving to the middle and high school, this is something I have not incorporated into my schedule, with the exception of whole novel studies; I truly miss it. I found it interesting, given my own experience, that Penny Kittle also mentioned that this happens in the later grades, as we start to try to get everything taught in the time allotted; we forget still-life-teddy-white-read-159080.jpegthat personal reading is just as important.

I know that even before reading this week’s articles, I had already been planning to bring read-aloud back into my classrooms. At times, this may be the only opportunity some students have to become familiar with certain literature. Even though I am not a person who enjoys others reading to me, I know that listening comprehension is important for many students. This needs to be balanced with independent reading to reach as many students as possible.

Book Love chapter 5 talks about the power of “Book Talks”.Ā  This is one area that I have been working very hard on this year. With the help of this class, I have been able to recommend more books then ever before and have so far gotten quite a few students to want to read some of the books I have read. I really enjoyed a couple of quotes that were in this chapter. The first one was what she tells her students at the beginning of the year, “Not reading is not an option. I expect my students to read every day and to read a large volume of books” (Kittle 59). I think that is priceless! I agree with her that if you set the bar high, most students will rise to the challenge and engage in the reading. The second quote that was very thought-provoking was when she said, “I wonder sometimes if we treat reading and all things school-if we treat learning-like somered-love-heart-typography.jpgthing so unpleasant and unnatural as to require dog biscuits to get them to do what we want” (Kittle 64). This is so true. Instead of making reading/learning something they want to do, we just dangle the proverbial carrot in front of them to make them do it.

I have taken away a lot of ideas from the Book Love readings this week. From using the books as mentors in writing, to conferencing with a purpose in mind, I feel that I have gained a lot of knowledge that I didn’t have before. Sometimes I feel that I’m finding so many things that I want to incorporate into my teaching that my head is going to explode! I know that I now need to just start slowly putting these new ideas into place, but the main thing I want is for my students to become the types of readers that Kittle has grown in her own classroom. I can only hope to be half the mentor she is to her students.

Works Cited:

Kittle, Penny. Book love: developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers. Heinemann, 2013.


8 thoughts on “Penny Kittle Chapters 5 & 6 ~ Reading Aloud to Students

  1. I was never a fan of reading out loud, especially to little kids. I think it was because you had to use your voice in way that would make the story interesting (no duh right?!?!). However that all changed now because I have two toddlers that love books, and one of the best times is when I get to read out loud to them. And the fun part is that the more ridiculous my voice gets in reading the books, the more they are in tuned with the story – and watching their little minds work is a pleasure to watch.


  2. I thought the articles about reading aloud to students were really interesting. The last time I was read to was in fourth grade, and I don’t remember liking it very much. I’m also not a huge fan of audio books. I wouldn’t have realized how beneficial it can be in the classroom if we didn’t read these articles just because it’s not my preference.


  3. I think that it is easier to read aloud to students when they are younger. However, I read aloud to or with my 7th and 8th graders. They prefer this method and like it was stated in the articles we were assigned, students understand better when they hear.
    I also like the idea of conferences. I haven’t done as much of that this year as I did last year. I do think it is a great tool to use on an individual basis and get a better understanding of what they are thinking.


  4. As an elementary teacher I read to my students all the time. Whether it is a picture book or chapter book, my students are read aloud to every day. The only experience that I have reading to older kids is with my own three teenagers. They still to this day ask me to read aloud to them. Which I gladly do!


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