Help with reading out loud, for the TEACHER!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Crono91, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2013

    So this might be a silly question, but I'm still in college, and I plan on teaching elementary school (ideally 3rd, 4th, or 5th :thumb: ), and reading to your students has always been done.

    Well, I've realized I've never had to read out loud much, so I'm not entirely sure how to do it, or what students respond to. Obviously not reading monotone is preferred, but how? Do you read the book before hand so you know how each character sounds? Also, when I'm reading out loud...I don't know how to explain it, but I kind of speak faster than I read, so I might have to take a second to have my eyes catch up! If that makes any sense.

    I'm trying to read whatever I'm reading out loud some more--mostly for speech practice, but also for inflectional practice and so on. However, do you have any suggestions for books that offer wide differences in inflection so I can practice? I've noticed a lot of children's books do that.

    Any advice on how to read out loud? It seems like a lame question, but when I speak, I memorize whatever the assignment is and present it--I've never stared into a book and tried to make the words interesting.

    Teachers make it seem so natural. :unsure:
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 30, 2013

    Reading the book before reading it aloud is a very good idea, yes: one wants to know where the story is going and one wants a sense of the characters in it.

    If you speak faster than you read, and if you haven't got a diagnosed learning or visual disability, you might see if your college offers training in efficient reading. Check with the tutoring center or the student support center. It's by no means necessary to be able to read War and Peace in an hour - but most of us do read at least a bit faster than we speak, and speed-reading training might help you with the rest of your schooling.

    If your school year hasn't begun, you could try catching the Story Hour at your local public library or children's center, and then perhaps see if you could chat with the reader afterward.

    Here's a fairly good article on prosody, which includes intonation (what I think you mean by "inflection"), pausing, changes in rate, and so on: http://www.scilearn.com/blog/prosody-matters-reading-aloud-with-expression.php; I think you'll find that it clarifies some matters for you, or at least gives you a better sense of the questions you need to be asking.

    You're more than welcome to keep asking here, of course.
     
  4. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 30, 2013

    Using tone and voice is an art!
    When you preread the book, you could add post-its to help you remember when your voice will change to sad, surprised, whisper, etc.
     
  5. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2013

    I don't have any technical info, but perhaps you could volunteer to read to kiddos at a library if they have a "story hour". Something I've done is be a volunteer reader for a radio audio and information service that broadcasts to people who have impaired vision. It included reading everything from books to newspapers to ads - whatever the listeners could no longer read for themselves. I loved being a reader and truly felt like I was providing a useful service. It helped me with my re-aloud skills. Whenever I read something aloud to my HS kids, I put tons of inflection into it because I think they rarely hear "animated" reading at their ages. It definitely makes them perk up and listen, and shows that it's FUN to read aloud! Or maybe that's just my geek side showing...
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2013

    That is great that you want to improve in this area. Here are some simple things that you can do that will help your reading aloud a lot.

    1. Always make sure you have read the material to yourself first.
    2. Here are some ways to change your voice to make the story more interesting:
    a) Voice level#1: Make certain characters talk louder than others. I often have the adults talk louder than the children.

    Voice level#2: Make sure you say some words in a sentence louder than others. I often made it the verbs a bit louder when I first started, now I am more selective on which words that I say louder.
    b) Change the emotion of your voice. Practice this with someone or by yourself. Roll a die. Then read a paragraph of the story based on what comes up on the die:
    1=sad voice, 2=happy voice, 3=angry voice, 4=confused voice, 5=excited voice, 6=whiny/complaining voice
    Keep changing and this will really help.
    c) Advanced: try out some different voices such as:
    children's voice, old lady or old man voice or any other voice you can do.

    This and a lot of practice will help you to be able to entertain 3, 4, and 5th graders if you have chosen good literature books. I will be glad to send you a list of great books for grades 3,4, and 5 for read alouds if you like. Good luck to you.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 30, 2013

    Always preread the book first. Always. Then you are ahead of the students and might be able to ask them even better questions. Practice reading aloud, and in time it will become more natural.
     
  8. Ms.TeacherLady

    Ms.TeacherLady Rookie

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    You can/will take literature courses in college that teach you more about this- look into the classes your college offers and see if you can sign up! My college had a children's literature class where we did read-alouds for small groups of kids at a local school. Even if your school doesn't do something like that, perhaps you know a teacher (or daycare professional, librarian, etc.) who would let you come read a story aloud every so often? It would give you practice and be a great learning experience :)
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Last year, one of the things my kids loved best was to hear me read Junie B. Jones. I don't know how normal this is, but I tend to "hear" the voices of characters in my head as I read. To me, Juni B. (a first grader) sounds like my daughter did at that age, so... I speed up my speaking - even more when she's excited or exasperated. I whine when she's complaining, and so on. It gets to be really fun after some practice!
     
  10. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I won't have access to it until next week, but I have a list of read aloud tips from a training I attended that I can share with you.
     
  11. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Aug 1, 2013

    This may sound nuts, but I practiced reading to a few friends of mine during college. It did feel awkward at first. My friends never admitted it, but I think they enjoyed when I practiced on them. Eric Carle was a popular favorite.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    The kids go nuts for fake whining. I've read some Junie B. Jones with my kids before.
     
  13. Listlady

    Listlady Companion

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    Read everything you can aloud--all the time. Read with funny accents. Read like a crazy person. Read to little kids as if you MUST entertain them every second, ha ha: channel your inner actor. Then, you'll see that reading aloud with emphasis is easy.

    Oh, and one more thing: don't try to read too fast. Many people think that reading aloud quickly means that they are good at it: this is not necessarily so. You want your audience to hear all the words and dramatic pauses, etc.

    Don't stress out about it too much: when you mess up (and we all do), just say, "oops" or something, and keep going. It's great for students to see that their teachers aren't ashamed of themselves for being human. Great modeling lesson!
     

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