Mary Ehrenworth kicked off the reading portion of the day by diving into read alouds. She said that read alouds need to be highly planned and strategic (not the lap reading we do with our youngest children at home). The Teacher's College had Doug Reeves come in and do professional work with them. He noted, "The highest level of cognitive demand that children experience is during the read aloud." However, there lacked transfer. Mary suggested that students bring their book to the read aloud to move transfer. Partnerships should be solid, not groups of 3, as partnerships lend themselves to nearly 100% engagement, 100% of the time.
During strategic read aloud, there should be:
- interrupted reading
- partner discussion
- prompting, practice, feedback, practice
- deepening of reading practices
- strategic text selection
Mary also suggested limiting the number of years you use a read aloud, as this allows for Power over Balance. If you read the same text year after year, the teacher has too much power.
Classroom libraries are key to improving student reading achievement. Classroom libraries can be leveled in levels A-F, but after that categorize them. She reminded us that children who read book series as children, most likely turn into adults who read.
My next post will focus on instructional leadership around the Units of Study and workshop model.