How to Make Time for Classroom Read Alouds


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Let me ask you a question. When your schedule is tight and changing, what do you choose to cut? 

I’ll bet read aloud time is one of the first things. And I totally get that! It feels like the least important, non standards-based solution. And then once you abandon it one day, it gets easier and easier not to pick up that book again. 

But please don’t! Research shows that reading aloud helps students in so many ways. It is important for individual reading skills, building community, enhancing written and verbal communication, and so much more!

So today I’m sharing 6 simple ways to make time for read alouds. Will you still have days where you just don’t have time? Of course! But by building on these tips you can start some strong read aloud habits. 

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6 Ways to Make Time for Classroom Read Alouds

1. Make it part of your schedule from the beginning of the year.

Most of us have a schedule handed to us by administration. But usually there is wiggle room for the actual instructional time. If reading aloud doesn’t have a dedicated space in your schedule—give it one! I promise you will never just “have time” to read if you don’t make time. So schedule at least 10-15 minutes a day!

2. Use it as a calming transition after recess/PE.

When retuning from physical activity, most of us spend 10-15 calming students down anyway. Why not make it meaningful? When I get in from recess, students automatically get water and have a seat. I read for 10-15 minutes as they settle and then they’re ready to move on with the day!

3. Try not to let read aloud be the "first to go" when the schedule gets tight.

I know this is easier said than done. But students see what is a priority for you. If you think reading is important, they will too. Show them that reading is essential!

4. Tie read alouds into other curriculum.

Read alouds typically aren’t part of our standards, but they can be! I loved using read alouds that match our social studies curriculum. That way, you can teach social studies concepts alongside reading. Also consider your writing curriculum, classroom management needs, etc. 

5. Participate in a school of grade-level read aloud for the semester/year.

If your school doesn’t do this, suggest it! When other classes get involved it can hold you accountable and lead to valuable cross-class discussions

6. Save time by preparing discussions in advance.

One of the biggest time savers for me is having discussion questions prepared in advance. Do you always need to lead discussions after read alouds? Of course not! Reading aloud for fun is important. But I've found a quick discussion is a great way to add meaning and check for understanding. But this takes time! I use these bookmark companions for my read alouds and they've worked perfectly!


Reading to your students is so so important and it’s FUN! I hope you can use some of these suggestions soon. If you need suggestions for WHAT to read, check out my lists for third, fourth, and fifth grade here!

I would also love to hear your tips for read aloud time! Please connect with me here in the comments or on instagram at @fifthintheforest

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