I am so lucky that I get to work closely with so many amazing people. Our school is literally filled with awesome teachers who are passionate about kids and teaching- not only are they fun to be around, it also makes you want to be a better teacher. Positivity is contagious, right?!
Last year I noticed the Grade 1/2 teacher started everyday with a story and I was immediately intrigued. I always started my day with the regular “housekeeping” stuff like agenda’s, collecting any money or forms, and then I moved onto calendar/ circle time. This would typically take between 45 minute to an hour at the beginning of the year- crazy hey?! Printing in those agenda’s is a real task at the beginning of Grade 1! When I asked this teacher how she enjoyed starting her day with the story it was clear she loved it. She instantly was so excited to tell me how awesome it was- and once she explained why she did it, it was a no brainer for me.
Every year around June I start planning and reevaluating my previous year plan. I keep what seems to be working, and change those routines that just never became natural for me or the kids. The start to my day was the first thing to get a makeover. I now start my day with a story and it is by far my most favourite part of the day, let me tell you why I love it!
4 Reasons You Should Start Your Day With A Book
1.) Builds vocabulary. When students listen to someone read aloud they are able to enjoy text they typically wouldn’t be able to read. It allows for conversations around words they may not know. It also allows students to understand more complex sentence structure. Reading is probably the most effective way to expand a children’s vocabulary. It’s as easy as this: the more words they’re exposed to the more words they’ll learn!
2.) Late students- there is always at least one in every bunch. I am a strong believer in not punishing students who show up late- especially if they are under the age of 16. They can’t drive, it’s not their fault. I will most definitely have a friendly conversation about the importance of being on time with their parents but I NEVER make a student feel bad for being late. I could write an entire post on this I am so passionate about it… hmmm maybe I just will! I always welcome students with a smile and a welcome them whether they’re 5 or 45 minutes late…at least they came! Wow- okay, I went off on a bit of a tangent there, sorry! Anyways, starting the day with a story allows those students who happen to show up late to just slide right in and not feel overwhelmed by work they have missed.
3.) Reading aloud models good fluency. My students are continually “copying” behaviors they see in and outside of school. Some are great… and some not so much 😉 Reading aloud to your students using expression teaches / encourages them to do the same! It is seriously adorable when I read with my students and they slowly begin to show expression when they read… I love it!!!
4.)Fosters the love of reading! Kids LOVE it! They seriously do. They are constantly picking stories from the library, bringing books from home, or off our classroom bookshelf for me to read to them. Start the day on a positive note, it really will make all the difference!
I could seriously go on forever about why you should start your day with a story but I think you get the point! Just grab a book, and get to it! I promise you won’t regret it!!