I am still working on this read-aloud idea and I continue reading about what activities you as educators can complete along with them. I think the read-aloud is something that needs to be revisited. There are so many ways that the read-aloud can be used to model lessons for children in a safe and engaging way. This time I will focus on interactive read-alouds with non-fiction text-more, specifically- the think-aloud- to help students learn how to think about their thinking (metacognition) when they are reading informational (nonfiction) texts.
I read an article written by Erin L. McClure and Susan King Fullerton titled: "Instructional Interactions: Supporting Students' Reading Development Through Interactive Read-Alouds of Informational Texts. In this article I saw a pattern of what good teachers do consistently when conducting a read-aloud and how they are able to model their thinking and thus are able to teach their students how to think for themselves when reading an informational text. To paraphrase the authors, "the goals of an interactive read-aloud is to expose students to a variety of text, model fluent reading and meaning making strategies, encourage communication to facilitate understanding, lift the level of student thinking, and demonstrate behaviors students will be able to use independently in texts." In my reading I am finding that the interactive read-aloud is a good tool to use with students of varied age levels to model the thinking process of good readers in a safe way,
As I have stated before, when wanting to conduct a read-aloud there are some things to take into consideration for those read-alouds to have the maximum benefit for the students. You would want to...
During your read-aloud, you will model your thinking, focus on key ideas and vocabulary you want to highlight, and stop periodically for student to have the opportunity to interact with the text. (consider these stopping points when you are planning) Its important to establish routines and have a structure to make your classroom a place where students feel comfortable enough to engage with the text, share their thoughts, and participate in conversations about the text. Your goal is to begin to allow your students to engage in whole group conversations about informational texts. Rosenblatt (2013) said: " textual interpretation is socially situated as readers transact with the text by relying on their unique experiences, which mediates the construction of mean." Basically what is being said is that each student is allowed to learn and share information when they spent time sharing (interacting) with the text. Students are developing their understanding by listening to their classmate's thought and sharing their own.
The idea of the read-aloud/think-aloud is that you as the educator have the opportunity to co-construct meaning with your students by using the gradual release of responsibility. ( model, practice with a partner or small group, and sharing with the whole group) The read-aloud is a good scaffold for creating a safe place for students to apply their thoughts about the texts they are reading. Using the read-aloud is an aid to cultivate students independent reading.
Thanks for reading...
McClure, Erin L., and Susan King Fullerton. "Instructional Interactions: Supporting
Students’ Reading Development Through Interactive Read-Alouds Of
Informational Texts". The Reading Teacher (2017): n. pag. Web.
Pearl Garden is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M- Commerce. Follow along as she chronicles her pursuit of her Ed. D in Supervision-Curriculum and Instruction- Elementary Education. Just know that these are the ramblings of a doc student and a lot of what you read is a first draft and will go through some rewrites.