What started as a yearly tradition in December has now turned into a monthly activity and I couldn’t love it more. 50 Classroom Read Alouds-every month!
Every December our admin team takes one grade level and does a read aloud to the classes on that grade level. 7-8 read alouds per admin, no problem. We call it “Jingle Stories”! Every year I read to 4th graders. This last December I was telling my own children about my Jingle Story read aloud and my 7 year old said this “There is no way you will read to every 4th-grade class, principals are too busy.” He also added this challenge “You should take a selfie with every 4th-grade class.”
So I read to every 4th-grade class and took a selfie with almost all of them. He was impressed and then challenged me even more by stating “You should read to every class in the whole school. I bet the Matzke kids would love that.”
I laughed it off (I’m too busy, right?) but truth be told he planted a seed.
Over winter break I read Kids Deserve It by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. The book is amazing (I ordered a copy for every one of my staff members for our summer book study) and in the book, one of the chapters talks about monthly read alouds from the principal. So there it was, it has been done, it is done by other principals and surely I could do it too.
I sent a sign-up genius to the teachers asking them to sign up for a time in January and wouldn’t you know it, they signed up! That first month it felt like a daunting task but I did it. I did it again in February. The students were as surprised as I was that I finished January and returned in February. By the March read alouds, the students were no longer surprised and were offering their suggestions for the April read alouds. One second grade class has started the tradition of a group hug at the end of my time in their classroom. It was initiated by a student who is in foster care and has since moved to another home. We are happy to carry on his loving spirit with that group hug each time.
Am I busy? Absolutely! I would be lying if I said I had nothing to do. Am I too busy to show kids they matter to me? Never!
At the beginning of April, I was outside at recess duty and one first grader came up to me and said “Hey Mrs. Jacobs, it is April! When are you coming to read?”
Sign up genius sent, April Read Alouds start this week!