Strengthening student reading with engaging group read-alouds.

by Gay Barnes

Grades K-2, Grades 3-5


Thinking about how to intentionally choose a text so that it inspires children to want to read, love language and words and be able to connect to the world through stories that other people tell, is central to my practice as a teacher.

When we read aloud to students we are showing them what a proficient reader sounds like and we’re making our thinking visible.

Regardless of what grade they are in, you’re going to choose a text to read aloud that is based on:

-What you know about your students from assessment information,

-Observations – what are you watching them do? and,

-The standards you are supposed to be meeting at grade level.

In my classroom, you would see me reading and hear children participating in a highly engaged way. I’m also constantly assessing how well this is going during reading conferences and ensuring that they are talking to me about what they are hearing and observing.

The difference between just reading aloud and being intentional about it is that you make a decision about which book you choose based on the needs of your learners – Does it address a standard? Does the book have characteristics that are typical of non-fiction text? Can I make a great investment in vocabulary?

About Gay Barnes

Gay Barnes is a first grade teacher at Horizon Elementary School in Madison, Alabama. She started her teaching career twenty-eight years ago and ha...

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