Friday, December 19, 2014

Read Around the School

Yesterday, we had our first "Read Around the School" of the year.  This is a fun whole-school reading activity that is a bit chaotic, but the kids and teachers really enjoy it.  At my school, the classes are paired up with reading buddies that they visit with once a month so that is how we do the pairings for Read Around the School (or RATS for short).  Buddy teachers get together and choose a book for the event.  One of the teachers will be the reader and one the traffic controller on the day of the event. They have to let me know what book they choose and which room they would like to read in.  Sometimes we have a theme, like Winter Wonderland (books with winter or snow settings) or Dog Days of Summer (books about Dogs) or sometimes it is just teacher's choice.  

Three days before the event, I send out a map of the school with the titles listed in the rooms they will be read and a schedule.  I try to keep the room where the teachers ask, but sometimes I have to change the location because of traffic flow.  

Two days before the event the teachers hang a poster advertising the book outside the classroom where it will be read.  

I love seeing the creativity that comes out in these posters.  Some teachers love to make it themselves and some teachers have students work on it.

The day before the event the buddy classes get together to take a "Poster Walk" around the school.  Some teachers give the older buddies the map and the buddies highlight the books they are interested in listening to.

The Day of the Event, I come on the announcements at the specified time and tell the buddies it is time to meet.  The teachers walk the kids to the buddy meeting classroom.  I give them about 5 min to do that.  Then I come back on the announcements and tell them buddies to walk to their first story.  This is where it gets a little chaotic.  Picture 900 kids all loose in the school traveling to different locations.  The traffic controllers and any extra personnel stand in the halls and remind kids to walk and help direct them to rooms.  This take about 5 min.  I come back on announcements and say they should be in a room and for the readers to start reading.



Some teachers show the book on the document camera.  Some use the projector to display things related to the books.  Some just hold the book in front of the class.  Some teachers dress up or have props. It really can be however they want.

We let them read for 10 min and then come back on the announcements and repeat.  Two or three rotations is usually plenty.  Then the big buddies walk the little buddies back to their class and it is over!

Sample Schedule
1:45 travel to meeting location
1:50 big buddies and little buddies travel to first story
1:55 Start reading
2:05 Stop reading travel to second story
2:10 Start reading
2:20 Stop reading and travel to third story
2:25 Start reading
2:35 Stop reading and take little buddy back to class

I love that this is a whole school activity centered around reading and that the big kids enjoy it as much as the little kids.

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