"Read another one! Read more!"
The excitement of kids who are hooked by a book is contagious. It is an amazing privilege to introduce a child to their newest favorite character. Reading aloud is one of my favorite things to do. It is an opportunity to genuinely demonstrate your passion for literature, your love of great characters, the deep thinking you do as a reader, and the lasting impact a book has on you. In my classroom I read aloud multiple times each day.
This year I moved into an instructional coaching role and I no longer have my own classroom. I am in classrooms as much as possible, but I really miss reading aloud. I miss the continuity of making connections with a class over multiple books we have read and shared together.
This morning our kindergarten teacher called and asked if I could come down and read aloud while she made a phone call. I jumped up from my desk, grabbed a stack of my favorite books, and crossed my fingers that these kindergartners hadn't met Piggie and Gerald yet.
As I sat down in front of the 28 sleepy-eyed six year olds early on a Monday morning, I dramatically pulled one of the books and said, "Have any of you met Piggie and Gerald before? They are my favorite!"
"I have those books at home!" one voice exclaimed, while the rest of the pack leaned in curiously.
"I know I won't like it," said a boy in the front row (who doesn't think he likes anything).
"Let's give it a chance...I think you might change your mind," I said as I cracked open I Will Surprise My Friend.
Laughter, predictions, connections, and inferences filled the air as we read through the book. I was thrilled to so quickly become part of this literary community. This book brought us all together and gave us a space to think and laugh together.
Once we finished the first book, my little friend in the front row spearheaded the begging for more. Together we read one more and I left them the stack of my beloved books.
Piggie and Gerald gained a few new friends today. I'm glad I had the privilege of introducing them.