Sunday, June 19, 2016

Who's doing the Work? Chapter 2

Think back to your experiences in school. What are your fond memories? Chances are one memory is with one of your teachers reading aloud a story to you. I have a memory of my 8th grade teacher reading aloud Ulysses. She sat on a stool next to the green colored chalkboard. I remember sitting with my head down and my mind visualizing the words she read. Read alouds should be fun. I think I have fond memories of Ulysses because it must have been fun. 
Who's Doing the Work?
Read alouds are the first instructional context along the gradual release of responsibility model that Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris talk about in their book Who’s Doing the Work? Read Aloud is a teaching structure that allows children to enjoy the story for its own sake. It frees up the cognitive work struggling readers use up when they tackle a difficult text and allows students to enjoy and construct meaning with the text. Read Alouds demonstrate what proficient reading sounds like and what engagement “looks like” when deeply thinking about the meaning. 
Who's Doing the Work?
The authors say in the Next Generation Read Aloud, the teacher reads an engaging text to the students. The text selection is the most important part of the read aloud and should be appealing, interesting and relevant to students. Next, the authors stress less teacher talk. When teachers are doing all the talking, they are doing all the work. When teachers talk less, students can hear the story for the story. They can engage in making meaning and hear the print for the language in the story. Finally, the authors say teachers should engage students in a discussion about the text. Engaging students in a conversation about what they “notice, think and wonder” will help them construct meaning and think deeply (p. 45).
Who's Doing the Work?
Key points about Read Aloud (p. 32):
  • Value: demonstrate meaning making process
  • Purpose: commercial for learning to read
  • Text Selection: based on anticipated level of engagement and teaching opportunities the text provides
  • Teaching Points: engaging students, facilitate discussions for constructing meaning
  • Reading Work: teacher carries all the print. Students construct meaning of the text.
  • Discussion: around what students notice and wonder about the text.

How to implement a Read Aloud (p. 38)
1. Prepare
  • Select a text that is engaging, high quality and:
    • introduces students to captivating topics
    • introduces students to familiar authors
    • offers new perspectives
    • offers insight into experiences of children who live different lives
  • Pre-select stopping points by
    • reading through the entire text ahead of time
    • identifying the purpose of the read-aloud
    • determine open-ended questions that can help facilitate conversations
2. Present 
  • Read the text, review the cover, talk about the author, create time for students to make predictions
  • Pause to provide time for students to turn and share their thinking. The more opportunities students have to talk the more engaging the Read Aloud is.
  • Listen in as the students discuss, take anecdotal notes
  • Invite students to share their discussion with the whole group, however it is not necessary to do this after every turn-and-talk.
I like the simplicity of this lesson plan. It will help me be more intentional with my read alouds. When I am intentional about my read alouds I can increase student engagement and students can do all the work.
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