First I heard, "We don't have a subject called that." Then I heard, "It must because it is December, and we need to be extra kind this month" I laughed secretly on that comment. Then I heard one of students who had read the book reply that is the theme of our next read aloud. BINGO!! Before we started reading Wonder, I asked how many students had already read the book 9 out of 22 students and 4 more were in the middle of the story. One of students said, "Don't worry Mrs. Caplin it is such an important story everyone should hear it twice." With that said I began reading about Auggie.
We read aloud four days a week no matter what ( and yes I mean no matter what including reading the last few paragraphs before we left for lunch which is pretty important in fifth grade) The students are recording their thinking in their Reader's Notebook and for many of them they are reading along with me using their copy of the book. It's exciting to see students offer to share their copy with another student that does not have one. Choosing kind within our read aloud.
As we finished our first section, Auggie's point of view, I asked the students to stop and reflect. I struggle with this part of read aloud and when I say struggle I deeply mean that. I desperately want my students to enjoy the story (Bill Prosser taught me that lesson when we team taught together-Thanks Bill!) But I want to know what my students are thinking, how are they feeling about the story, what are their thoughts about August? I tried something new with Wonder. I asked students to do a reflection based on 10 points. We brainstormed the ideas and filled up our dry erase board, students chose their own topic for their reflection. I was so pleased that I took this step - it was a big one for me, but one that I will do again. It didn't ruin the read aloud for us, and it gave me a glimmer of what my class was thinking. I love knowing what they are thinking about as we read each day.