Way more than your basic read aloud.

Hello everyone! As I step into the education field, I have been filling my treasure chest (my brain) will all sorts of strategies that will help me be the best teacher I can be. Today, we will be talking about interactive read-alouds with language learners.

What is an interactive read aloud? It is exactly what it’s called; when a teacher orally reads out loud to the class and interacts with the students. Before a teacher starts reading, he/she will introduce the book, identify the title and author/illustrator, and story elements. This would be a great time to encourage student participation and predict what the story is going to be about based on the title and cover picture. Activating prior knowledge and schema would also be done before reading the text. Okay, let’s talk about what would be done during the interactive read aloud. While the teacher reads the text, he/she could stop and respond to the reading. He/she could do this by thinking out loud, acting it out, stop and draw, or predict what may happen next. To involve student interaction, the teacher can ask questions and allow responses. The teacher can also make connections and allow the students to make personal connections with the reading. Now, let’s move on to what happens after the reading. This is where the teacher can summarize, retell, or share thoughts on the story. This would also be another time to discuss things students learned or ask the students questions regarding the reading. If students made predictions on what would happen before the reading, the teacher can check the predictions at this time. What makes this type of read aloud different from just simply reading a book beginning to end, is that you are actively engaging and interacting with the students.

I teach in a 4th grade bilingual classroom, and I try to do a short interactive read aloud every day. This usually happens right before we pack up for the day. I know my students love it because all morning I hear my students ask me, “Miss.Neri, what book are we going to read today?” and “OoooOooo ooooOOOoo Miss read ________ this book today”. I definitely do try to incorporate their suggestions. We have a class goal to read 100 books during the school year. Our read alouds don’t take too much time, most times under 10 minutes and it has become part of our daily routine. For my language learners I try to scaffold some vocabulary words that my students are unfamiliar with before reading the text. I have also taught my students that if we come across an unfamiliar word throughout the reading that we have not discussed, to place their hands on their head and I will find a good stopping point to discuss it. I also utilize our read alouds to enhance our language skills. I do this by providing sentence stems and giving the students a couple minutes to engage in partner talk. I know we all have those students who are too shy or afraid to speak up during class conversations. Allowing them to speak to a partner or friend gives

them an opportunity to still engage with the reading. Our most recent book was The Good Egg. This book was the last of a 6-book series written by the same author and we had read them all; The Bad Seed, The Cool Bean, The Couch Potato, The Smart Cookie, and The Great Escape. When I pulled out The Good Egg this previous class session, I could feel my students jump from excitement. I had most of my student’s flapping their hands in the air wanting to share what they thought the book was going to be about. I could hear the “pick me” all through the room. Therefore it is important to choose a text that is at grade level and that will keep the students engaged.

This is my first-year teaching and due to the response that I have received from my students, I will keep implementing interactive read alouds in my upcoming years in the classroom. Students truly enjoy them and not to mention, they are also great mini lessons that are easily incorporated into the school day.

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