Children Should Read Aloud EVERY Day!

Many of the first grade students that were in my class this year did not read with anyone at home.  Oh, there were parents and siblings, some grandparents, babysitters and even nannies at these houses, but still no one read with these children. Many of these people mistakenly believed that if a child could read that he/she no longer needed any adult interaction while reading. Mistake! Big mistake! My school system uses the Developmental Reading Assessment (normally called the DRA) as a tool for assessing a child’s reading level.  In order to take the test the child must read a book out loud to the teacher.  This IS the test.  The book.  Reading it aloud and then answering comprehension questions on their own without help from an adult.  Parents, PLEASE take some time each and EVERY day to listen to your young reader when he/she is reading.  You will be surprised at what you do and don’t hear.  By practicing reading aloud, your child will learn to read for others to hear, will learn to adhere to proper punctuation, will learn to answer comprehension questions that you have asked and will learn to read ONLY the words that are printed in the text and not the words that he/she thinks should be written there. Try listening to your child read today….and then continue tomorrow and the next day and the next…….

Here is a site that gives you a list of books and their DRA level.  If you know what level your child is reading, this site will help you find books for that level and more challenging books on the next level.  If you do not know what level your child is reading at, look for books that your child can read and match the DRA level to the book.



Filed under First Grade, Reading

7 responses to “Children Should Read Aloud EVERY Day!

  1. Great advice! Isn’t it ironic how reading aloud is a powerful, yet gentle force?

    Too bad that many parents do not realize the enormous positive effects of reading diverse books to their kids.

    One should read aloud non-fiction and fiction, picture books and chapter books, old book and new ones… there is an ocean of great books to read. Don’t limit your kid to just a few favorites! Grow their minds.

    Read Aloud Dad

  2. I agree. Reading together as a family is essential. It is so important to establish a routine for reading within the home that works the family.

  3. Proud mommy

    I came across your blog recently and am enjoying it very much. My son was in TK last year and has started kinder this fall. My son learned to read last year and has taken off like a rocket. According to the DRA chart, he’s reading at 3rd grade level. He reads with fluency and great comprehension. I don’t put limitation on books. I let him read anything and everything that interests him including chapter books. The problem I face is that I don’t expect to see other students in class at his level and having the reading portion of the class be stalled. Can you give me an advice on how to approach the next few years? I’m hoping the teacher will exercise differentiated learning but unsure how it will be done if my son is the only child in this level. Can you also give me advice on how to approach the teacher so I can work with her closely on this?

  4. kindergartenteacherclaire

    Thanks for writing. I have taught children like your son many times throughout my years of teaching. Many schools will offer the option of having your son go to Reading Lessons/Language Arts in a higher grade while they are conducting Reading Lessons. This is something to look into at your school. Continue to offer books at a higher Reading level to your son, I would encourage you to read what he is reading so that he could have meaningful dialogue about the book as he is reading and when he is done. This would also help you to understand how fully he is compreheding what has been read. Maybe begin a book club for children with his reading level. There are more out there than you realize. Even though your son is Reading higher level books, keep in mind that not all books that he is ABLE to read, he should be reading, he should be emotionally able to comprehend what he is reading as well. Good Luck. Claire

  5. Proud mommy

    Thank you for a quick response. Would the school allow him to go to a different class at this age in kindergarten? That’s what I wish to happen but wasn’t sure if that’s an option at this age. If so, I’d be happy to bring it up to the teacher and the principal. I’m patiently waiting until the teacher allows parents in the classroom to volunteer. She wanted bit more time to get to know the kids first. Yes, I’m there with my son every step of the way with reading. I ask him questions during and after to gauge at how much he’s comprehending. I did notice that there are chapter books that needs more life experience to understand so I skip on those. I came across Monty series which is perfect for him. He can relate to the character and the goings on in the book. I thought about the book club idea too. It’s a matter of finding them… Just don’t know where from my circle…

  6. kindergartenteacherclaire

    Most definitely bring it up now. Don’t wait until you volunteer, you could be asked to volunteer out of the room and not see what you are looking for. Many teachers do not encourage volunteers for the very reason you are waiting, …many parents really just want to see what is happening in the room with their child. You are right teachers usually like to have the month of September to really get to know each and every child and to find out for herself what your son’s strengths and weaknesses are. Give it a few weeks then ask for a conference and ask for a guidance counselor to attend so you can explain your concerns and ask about how this school handles children on higher reading levels. If it is a public school they are required to instruct your son at his level and are required to find an appropriate reading class for him. Good luck with this.

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