Tag Archives: read aloud

Announcing: The 1st Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee

Tradition holds that our young Day School readers shall spend one week per year competing in a challenge that promotes, provokes, and motivates close, intensive reading of the wonderful works we hold in our classroom and library collections.

This year is no different, and we in the Library & Learning Commons are proud to announce the commencement of this year’s challenge, named after one of the most important figures and champions of reading throughout our school’s exemplary history:

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The 1st Annual Adelaide Preston Grande Olde Reading Bee

Ms. Preston began her tenure as principal at Annie Wright School in 1913 and she spent sixteen years at our helm, providing the vision and effort necessary to transition Annie Wright into its current iconic building.

Of her many passions and abilities, Principal Preston was an incredible advocate of reading; thus, we are launching a reading bee in her honor.

The Rules

Our Reading Bee is a quest to see which Day School grade level can team together to complete the most total minutes of reading within a single week.

At 8am on Monday, March 14, students from Kindergarten to 5th Grade may begin tallying the minutes they spend intently reading each and every day of the week (please note: our Kindergarteners may include minutes they are read aloud to). Each afternoon, teachers will provide the library with the total amount of time their students spent reading throughout the day. Our young Day School readers may continue to accrue minutes by reading at home, and parents can record their children’s efforts on the form at the bottom of this bulletin.

The Library will continue to tally contributions until 12:00pm on Wednesday, March 23.

Whichever grade level accrues the most reading minutes throughout the week will be rewarded with a prize Adelaide Preston herself would admire.

The Prize

We have named our Reading Bee after Adelaide Preston, as reading was a primary passion for this principal. We have also designed a prize worthy of this esteemed school leader’s second passion: ziplines.


Given our principal’s zest for ziplines, the grade level that reads for the most minutes throughout the week will be awarded with a Party-in-a-Box. And this Party-in-a-Box will be no ordinary box. Instead, it will be ziplined down to the winning grade level, as so:

We will be offering two Parties-in-a-Box, one to the Grade K-2 champions, and one to the Grade 3-5 champions.

The winning grade levels will be announced after the March break. Look daily for updates on how this event unfolds!

Parents and Teachers, Please Submit Reading Minutes Here:





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Read. A. Loud.

How busy are the holidays? Amazingly, head-spinningly busy. Yet as we approach more opportunities for even more time with our families, let’s continue to maintain the many great habits we’ve employed in the past. After all, not a day goes by without a parent and child drops by the library after school to pick up a book to share together at home. And that, I think, is absolutely fantastic.  So, be sure to keep scheduling in those 15 minute (or more) segments to sit down with your child, your youngster, your teenager and/or your spouse to listen and share reading together. Picture Book. Chapter book. Classic Book. Brand new book. Short stories. Long stories. Every option is a great option.

And for those looking to amp up their read aloud skills, check out Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook and Diane Frankenstein’s Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read. Both works are speedy reads themselves, and they’ll help you discover even more strategies you might employ to maximize the effects of reading together (at any age). Diane Frankenstein, for instance, encourages Conversational Reading: engaging with children in and around the telling of the book by sharing analytical questions to show true engagement around the material. For more on the importance of reading aloud (for all ages–I become such a better reader and thinker after pausing a bit with  Selected Shorts or The New Yorker’s Fiction Podcast), check out the following infographic from Read Aloud 15 Minutes, a national nonprofit hoping to make reading aloud for 15 minutes a day the standard for child care. Or, check out Trelease and Frankenstein. Or, even better: take the breaks of the holiday season to add even more time to reading together with family and friends.

Click on the infographic to be directed to Read Aloud 15 Minutes, the nonprofit responsible for creating this chart.

And need ideas where to start? Swing on by the library and we’ll get you set up with a few great options.


Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook

My initial transition into the role of school librarian involved many, many book recommendations. Just not the kind you might think. So many friends and colleagues came forwards with suggestions for books I should read (really, guys, this is how it works: I dish the books!).

But, since my colleagues and friends are so fantastic, the books were wonderful, as well. One of those books, lent by Upper School Director Jake Guadnola, is an absolutely classic in reading and literacy: Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook.

In this tome, Jim Trelease explains how reading aloud to kids can help children discover a love of reading. It’s full of evidence-based reading strategies and recommendations for books to read aloud for a variety of ages. The Read Aloud Handbook is the work I’m reading for my October professional development, and I hope it’s one you’ll stop by the library to check out as you explore the benefit and joy of reading aloud, as well.