Former classroom teacher and homeschooling mother of four, Readers Theater All Year™ founder, Carol Montgomery, exposes the why behind her passion for Readers Theater in this revealing 2011 interview with Readers Theater All Year™.
Readers Theater Comes Alive!
RT All Year: Carol, you have been writing elementary program scripts and Readers Theater scripts since you were a single classroom teacher in the late 70's. What birthed that interest?
Carol: I used puppets in my work with children, but had to rewrite boring scripts sometimes. Oftentimes, I just used puppets spontaneously in the classroom.
Then, while I was pursuing my masters degree in education I took a class on Readers Theater--while I was teaching fourth graders. Although I was intrigued, there was no internet in those days, so there didn't seem to be many resources easily available for me.
When I attended a national conference seminar with Paul Russell it exploded Readers Theater into classroom fun beyond puppet scripts because then I had a few scripts from his book Readers Theater Comes Alive! (no longer in print, I think). Readers Theater became a permanent part of our elementary classroom.
My masters project was on Readers Theater. In fact, I was honored when my professor said I should look into publishing some of the scripts. (Smile.) I got married instead--with the masters in education and an emphasis in reading.
The Teaching Home Magazine
RT All Year: So, did you continue writing?
Carol: Actually, I had some health challenges and didn't do much until our kids were a bit older. I wrote an article for The Teaching Home Magazine entitled "Readers Theater for Everyone!" that was published in 1994.
I wrote some plays for our homeschooling fine arts festivals almost every year. We had a homeschool drama club that did many of them.
Basically, my writing has been off and on--more off in the past because of homeschooling all four kids constantly for over 23 years with personal health challenges.
RT All Year: How does your motto "Building Leaders and Creators™" relate to Readers Theater?
Carol: Well, you can thank the Home School Legal Defense Association [HSLDA] for that! (Smile.) When I wrote the article "Readers Theater for Everyone!" for The Teaching Home MagazineHSLDA somehow read it and called to interview me for their one-minute radio broadcast "Homeschool Heartbeat." I did five one-minute interviews with them that were broadcast on national radio every weekday for one week. That sparked my interest. Why WERE they interested in Readers Theater?
I assumed it was because Readers Theater helps build leaders--people who are confident and expressive in front of a group, unafraid of using a microphone to communicate. But, maybe they were interested in building stronger readers, too. There's an old saying, "Readers are leaders."
The motto "Building Leaders and Creators™" includes the creative facet because Readers Theater is a total language arts experience: reading, listening, speaking, thinking, and writing. Reading aloud expressively is creative. Writing is creative. Readers Theater All Year™ will help equip students--and some adults--in writing.
And, I expect us to dabble in some public speaking training. We need more culture creators not culture consumers.
Scripts With Curriculum Links, Custom Scripts, and Radical Writers
RT All Year: And, why did you start Readers Theater All Year?
Carol: I know how difficult it is to find trustworthy scripts that actually convey content in an enjoyable manner. My goal is to provide quality scripts with annotated curriculum links for easy lesson plans. The Readers Theater (or puppet) scripts should fit well with unit studies or as part of a comprehensive reading program. I want to help simplify the teacher's life.
Some of the Readers Theater scripts will be my idea, but I intend on writing scripts for our community based on what teachers request, too; call them custom scripts, if you want.
Beyond my scripts, I'd like to help raise up some radical writers who will ignite a passionate wildfire of fun and truth. Sprinkle our fresh scripts liberally with a variety of free tips, tools, and techniques. Bake it with heart-warming love. We should have something delicious!
Fluffy Interviews Our Founder, Carol Montgomery:
Audio Mini Writing Lesson
Fluffy spontaneously interviews Carol Montgomery in this short audio (nearly 11 minutes). In it you'll learn:
• 3 Simple Writing Ideas for Teachers (homeschool and traditional classroom) • A Revolutionary Writing Curriculum Option • Fluffy's confession
Instant Blooper--Identity Crisis?
Former classroom teacher and homeschooling mother of four, Readers Theater All Year founder, Carol Montgomery, exposes the why behind her passion for Readers Theater in this revealing interview with Readers Theater All Year. From a masters in education to an article in The Teaching Home Magazine and a radio interview with the Home School Legal Defense Association, Carol shares the backround, the motivation, and the vision of Readers Theater All Year.
Readers Theater All Year™ LLC builds leaders and creators for positive influence through an inexpensive, easy, flexible system. Readers Theater All Year™ LLC curriculum services provides a caring community for using and creating Readers Theater scripts for families, classrooms, homeschools, camps, and drama clubs.
...Keep doing what you are doing. There are not enough quality scripts available for children and teens. So many are inappropriate from a parent's perspective. As a teacher I want to also build character and integrity while I teach a subject. Why can't drama build up, inspire and be thought provoking?...Anyway, keep doing what you're doing...we need all the help we can get! Jen H., Drama teacher
> ...I have been teaching for 35 years. RT has been part of my education journey for the majority of that time. Initially my experience with it was as a performance genre in the Drama Curriculum. Now I use it across the curriculum - a wonderful high motivation strategy in the language program - particularly reading - and so much more as you would know. I was drawn to your 'community' by the idea of leadership... I think what you're doing is wonderful..." Graham B. Former primary teacher (now a Visual Art and Drama specialist)
Readers Theater All Year is the most comprehensive collection of Readers Theater scripts and resources I have found on the internet!...Thank you Carol for your leadership and vision and for making Readers Theater so accessible for teachers and parents. Daniel Fiore, Elementary teacher/author What They Have Taught Me
I found the free readers theater online scripts, teaching tips, and curriculum teleseminars at Readers Theater All Year very inspirational to me. I used the Twelve Days of Christmas...Vacation script in my ESOL classes before Christmas break and my students all enjoyed it.. Lily T. Teacher (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
"> ..We did Squanto's Squash for the family on Thanksgiving and [my sons] participated and loved it. I am so excited about making this a major part of homeschooling. What a great way to learn! Bethany P. Homeschooling Mom
> ...re: our script "The Earth Day Hen and Friends" I've used this! The kids love it. Thank you for sharing...It's just right for all levels in the class...Your free scripts are wonderful!...They learn so much from drama and reader's theatre...I see the shy ones gain confidence as they read. Fluency and prosody increases with reader's theatre... Angela D., 3rd grade teacher
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