Today I am writing to thank author Steven Layne for speaking at the VSRA (Virginia State Reading Association) 2017 Conference. Dr. Layne gave the general session address on Friday, March 17th. His presentation focused around his book “In Defense of Read-Aloud.”
Read Alouds need to be a non-negotiable in classrooms. Unfortunately, too many teachers say they do not have the time to fit a daily read aloud into their schedule. I argue you make time for what you value.
Why should you make time? Why should read alouds be valued?
Reading aloud fosters:
- positive attitudes about reading
- language development
- comprehension (reaction to text)
- fluency (through modeling)
- community and empathy
- listening skills
- interest and exposure to different genres
- LIFE-LONG READERS
In Layne’s book he cites 127 research studies and found NO RESEARCH AGAINST reading aloud!
Convinced yet? If not, you can get a preview of the first 16 pages on Amazon to read.
Once you decide to make time for a read aloud, your next objective will be work on deciding what book(s) to read. Dr. Layne asked us to think carefully about launching our read alouds. Spend time building students’ background knowledge on the setting and look at the author’s website with students. Layne says you will know the launch phase of the read aloud is over when students beg you to keep reading.
As you continue to read aloud to your students check to make sure you are reading a variety of genres.
A final thing teachers need to think about it when reading aloud is…performance. Layne talked about 5 qualities of fluent reading:
- Tone – Quality of voice
- Pitch – High and low of voice
HOW you read text impacts comprehension and students need to see that demonstrated.
I know testing season is coming upon us…which makes me plead even louder to find time to read aloud. Students need to see reading as a fun and enjoyable activity not another passage with questions.
So, make time to read aloud. You can do it and you won’t regret it!