I'm so impressed to see so many posts about instruction over the summer. I have had a bit of a turbulent summer (something I will surely blog about in the next couple months) and am struggling to think about instruction right now. Especially because right now, I should be on a boat! A BIG BOAT! Far, far away. Thinking about nothing.
Oh, the blessings of time.
Anyway, in order to help me think about nothing, Krista from the Second Grade Superkids has generously volunteered to guest post for me today. You won't be disappointed. This is a valuable instructional post. You're gonna love it.
Rockin’ Readers Theatre!
Hey all! I’m Krista from “The Second Grade Superkids”, and I am so excited to be posting for Chrissy while she is off enjoying her vacay!
Do you all use Readers Theatre in your classrooms? If not, you should! Readers Theatre is a wonderful way for students to build their fluency and expression while reading. Not to mention, it gives them the opportunity practice presenting something that they have worked on in front of an audience.
In my classroom, my students do two large Readers Theatre presentations each school year (combined of course with smaller ones that I like to disperse throughout my guided reading time with them). Our first presentation is around the time right before winter break. I tend to do the same plays each year for these – “The Mitten” by Jan Brett and “The Gingerbread Boy” by Paul Galdone, and then depending on how many students I have that year, I may add in another winter themed play. The second big presentation we have is at the end of the school year. For this one, I generally snag copies of Readers Theatre texts from our book room that are on my students’ current levels. You can find multiple resources online and wonderful reference books filled with plays as well if you do not have these available to you. As I teach in a dual language classroom, my students usually participate in plays in Spanish and in English and this gives them the opportunity to continue to build their literacy skills in the second language. Not to mention, Readers Theatre is a wonderful means of fostering comprehension and vocabulary skills for our language learners as well!
Once we have practiced our plays, created our masks, and props etc. I invite a few other classrooms in our building to come be our audience. The kids love performing for their friends, and it is a great opportunity as well for other students to see how much fun reading can be! Once the students finish their presentations, we always ask our student audience members for constructive feedback. I ask them to share with my readers what they believe they did well and what they could possibly improve upon to make it even better the next time. I am telling you- it never ceases to amaze me how spot on and observant the students are.
For our final presentation, all of the students’ parents are invited to attend. Once finished, I ask the parents to stay and spend time reading with their students. This is always one of my favorite activities of the year as there is just a flood of productive, reading activity taking place in my classroom, and it is just the most beautiful sight! The students LOVE it, and it gives the parents the opportunity to not only see what their child is doing in the classroom, but also to be a part of their education!
Some great resources I have found for Readers Theatre in the classroom include:
1. 25 Just-Right Plays for Emergent Readers by Scholastic (this comes in Spanish too!)
2. Fabulously Funny Idiom Plays by Scholastic (great for ELLs)
3. Non-Fiction Readers Theatre for Beginning Readers by Anthony Fredericks (great content based passages for grades 1-3)
4. Readers Theater by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers (these come specifically for each grade level)
5. Readers Theater for Building Fluency by Scholastic (this is a great teacher reference text)
What texts do you use for Readers Theatre in your classroom? What types of presentations do you do? I would love to hear about it!