A first grade teacher for decades, Maria is a master of “strategic savoring.” Her lesson design efficiently sparks instructional conversations around the cover illustration, enriching vocabulary words, literary language, and the ideas and themes vital to young learners.
Maria arranges the rich fiction and nonfiction titles into chapters that mirror the way primary teachers plan curriculum. Need books tailor made for building community? Teaching literary elements? Comprehension strategies? Foundational and language skills? Inspiring writers? It’s all here and at the ready. Coaching tips on expressive oral reading, strategic seating, uncovering language nuances for EL students, effective questioning and more make the art of sharing books and learning with children do-able for everyone.
Teachers, schools, and districts looking to energize your core reading and writing program, search no further: The Ramped-Up Read Aloud delivers a formula for literacy development and a springboard to joy in equal parts.
This book is a gold mine for both longtime picture book lovers as well as those just beginning to build a classroom library! It is a comprehensive resource jam-packed with some of the best, most recent titles accompanied by learning strategies sure to make reading aloud a joyful experience for all. Her fresh ideas helped me see familiar, well-loved books in a new way as well as discover new titles to get the most out of a read aloud session! Her recommendations are thoughtful and purposefully chosen to engage, delight, and ignite a sense of wonder in even the most reluctant readers. As you read, be sure to have your highlighter, sticky notes, and "books to read" list ready! I've already used many of these read aloud experiences with great success and know this will be an invaluable resource I will return to again and again to inspire readers! It is the perfect read aloud companion every teacher needs to invite students to read, think, and talk about books. -- Kristen Mullikin, First-Grade Reading Coach
Maria Walther has become one of my most trusted resources for quality book recommendations for use in the classroom. Maria has a keen eye for identifying books that pair well together, matching books with effective lessons, and noticing details within books to enhance lesson plans. In this new book, Maria demonstrates how educators can squeeze every drop out of a read aloud experience, while providing an abundance of tips, resources, and ideas to maximize these sacred times in classrooms. Maria's book not only educates us on strategies for making the most of read aloud experiences; she also introduces us to a plethora of high-quality children's literature titles essential for classrooms. -- Dylan C. Teut, MEd, Executive Director, Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival
If you were even the slightest bit trepid about selecting and reading picture books . . . this book will thoroughly erase that feeling, forever! Get ready to be "ramped up" so you can spark a fire and get your students to love diving into picture books! Dr. Maria Walther has done most of the work for you in this easy-to-read guide to just about everything picture book-related! All you have to do is implement, implement, implement and then read, read, read! -- Rhonda Jenkins, Library Media Center Director
This book is filled to the brim with practical and inspirational advice about the importance of read-alouds! Maria offers every teacher a way into this vital literacy practice. Her energy and love of children and books-as well as her imagination and creativity and love of learning-are evident on every page. From why to how-Maria has it covered. She writes from a place of knowing with a voice that's authentic and powerful. And Maria's book choices are brilliant and fresh (which, of course, caused me to buy way too many of her recommendations right away!). The Ramped-Up Read Aloud is an important book to energize your literacy classroom now and into the future. -- Ruth Culham, author of Teach Writing Well: How to Assess Writing, Invigorate Instruction, and Rethink Revision
The Ramped-Up Read Aloud by Maria Walther is one of the most important books of our time! Read it and rededicate yourself to the importance of reading aloud to primary-grade children as well as to students in Grades 4 through 12. Reading aloud simultaneously nurtures positive relationships with students, builds community and vocabulary, and shows children how to think deeply about books. Equally important, read alouds expose children to beautiful, literacy language, to visual literacy, and to stories that touch their hearts and feed their minds. Walther starts with 10 proven reasons for reading aloud, in case you or your principal doubts the learning power of this daily practice. Then, skillfully and passionately, Maria takes you through ways to develop successful read alouds, how to network to find new books, and how to use the ideas in this book to make the read aloud "a joyful celebration for all." If there's one book you read this year, put Walther's at the top of your list. It will change your life and your students' lives forever! -- Laura Robb, Author of Read, Talk, Write and Vocabulary Is Comprehension
In the Ramped-Up Read Aloud, Maria Walther writes: "I've selected the texts in this book to help you nurture an intellectually and emotionally healthy classroom..." What a beautiful rationale for book selection and read aloud support! The book lists that so richly texture this resource are organized to facilitate teaching points and showcase lesson supports designed to elevate student engagement through teacher think aloud, comprehension conversations, vocabulary building, and open-ended questions. This one is a must have! -- Linda Hoyt, Author of Make It Real: Strategies for Success with Informational Texts
Dr. Walther breaks down the methods and science of reading picture books aloud without losing sight of the fact that, at some level, a good read-aloud experience is just plain magic. This book makes me want to read to kids. -- Tom Lichtenheld, Author/Illustrator