Student Contributor: R. Veening
As a teacher, if there is an idea you want to expose your students to, a constant issue in the classroom you need to address, or even just to take a moment of time to have your students get a brain break, you can purposefully choose a book to read aloud to handle what you need to handle. This management tool is helpful because there are some issues or needs that your students will have that the words of a good book can touch their hearts closer than what your words can in some cases.
Read aloud can be done in a multitude of ways. When using read aloud as a classroom management tool the process of the lesson becomes a little different in comparison to just reading a book aloud. There is a reason why you are reading the book to your students. Prior to reading the story I would talk about why this book is so special, begin getting the student curious about how this book relates to an idea of our classroom, and most importantly I want the story to teach a lesson that stays with them. After reading the story, using whatever addition you feel is best fitting you need to have your students do a task. In my experience I have used things like graphic organizers to reflect both in words and drawings on what the lesson of the story is and how we can apply that into our classroom. This works for a variety of ages because no matter the level students love stories, and you can use word responses as well as artwork for your students to express their feelings allowing this management tool to be used across multiple grade levels.
The phase I chose to relate this classroom management tool to be the corrective phase, this is mainly because it is the phase I have used it in the most throughout my teaching experiences. I will say this management tool can be used effectively within all three of the phases. Correctively, if you are having a consistent issue repeat itself in the class whether that is talking out of turn, not using kind words, following directions, etc. You can use a specifically chosen story to read and reflect with your students to fix a problem. Preventatively, when you know, a situation is going to occur, like having a new student come to class, you can perform a read aloud that subconsciously get your students prepared and taught the behavior's you want them to know prior to that situation occurring. Lastly, if using this tool as a support, for example if you go over your classroom expectations at the beginning of the year you can use a read aloud to support some of the main ideas or expectations you have in the room and leave the book in sight for moments you need to refer or support a student.
Performing a read aloud is collaborative but more so teacher lead through my experiences. You could have your students choose and read aloud the book to their classmates at older ages but for the purpose of teaching a lesson it can be better to take a little more teacher directed approach and take the time to purposefully choose a story. The collaboration is shown during the questioning, reflection, and lesson teaching of the read aloud.
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Tool Source: Gus Nollmeyer