Monday, March 25, 2013

Interactive Read-Alouds

Interactive read-alouds allows teachers to model the reading prcess through think-alounds and discussions as they help readers engage with the books in a safe, risk-free environment because children's listening and receptive levels are mush stronger than the level of books they can read independently.  Below are some types of books to consider and purposes for selected texts:


  • Texts by favorite authors.
  • Recommendations from other teachers.
  • Online sites and blogs.
  • Orbis Pictus award winners.
  • Books relating to curriculum topics.
  • Reviews in magazines, professional journals, or newspapers.
  • Newbery or Caldecott medal or honor books.
  • Allows for think-alouds to guide strategic strategies such as inferring, questioning, and visualizing.
  • Allows for text to text connections.
  • Allows for character, setting, or plot developments.
  • Builds classroom community.
  • Helps develop content-area curriculum.
  • Helps students discover ideas for writing.
  • Allows for study of topics of interest such as genre, author, or topic.
  • Provides examples of playful language.
  • Expands on students' vocabulary.
     During these interactive read-alouds, it is also important to allow students time to talk with one another and discuss what they've just read or heard.  This aids in their reading comprehension because it forces them to think about the text.  This time also allows educators to gain the opportunity to see what readers do and how the students think and to design their instruction to efficiently establish a solid foundation for children as they become independent readers.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Inferences Today

Readers make inferences when they combine the words of the author with the background knowledge to draw conclusions while the act of summarizing involves determining what's important enough to remember.  What educators need to realize is that our students already have the concept of inferring and the ability to do it without ever knowing a term for it.  While in the past, educators have named and defined the strategy of inferring, introducing the concept now involves with a modeled demonstration while thinking aloud about a piece of text.  

As educators, we should strive to be more aware about the concept of inferring, allow even the youngest readers many opportunities for inferring within their books, and share and model ideas to illustrate the importance  of summarizing.