I’ve got a little challenge for you. The next time you’re reading with children, observe how fast you read aloud and experiment with slowing your reading speed down.
Now as us teachers say to students, we don’t want you sounding like robots. It’s super important for kids to hear a fluent reader reading aloud. So maintain fluency but slow it down.
Why is it important to slow it down when reading with children?
There’s A LOT at play when a little reader is listening to us read. All that awesome vocab is hitting their ears, they’re observing details in illustrations and making connections between print and illustrations. Slowing it down gives everyone a chance to luxuriate in the language whilst giving a bit of extra time for little readers to process it all.
PLUS who has ever read something loudly in speech marks only to get to “he whispered” at the end of the sentence? *face palm* Slowing it down gives you a chance to scan ahead for read aloud prompts like this.
It’s so important to build wait time into read alouds. Not rushing to turn the page but giving that all important processing time. I know that sometimes we want to rush to the end of the book when reading with children because IT’S BEDTIME AND MUM NEEDS A SPECIAL DRINK, but slowing it down and waiting really enriches a read aloud.
If you try this tip, I’d love to hear how it went for you!
I share more teacher-approved reading with children tips over on my Instagram.