Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Shared Experience of a Book

Our school system has adopted the practice of interactive read aloud.

During interactive read aloud, a teacher and students share a book through shared reading, discussion, focus lessons, think alouds and other activities that help students deepen their ability to comprehend, read and think about text.

So far this year, we've tracked our interactive read aloud work with Google sites, ePortfolios, paper/pencil booklets, and online/offline charts.  This time we're using a blog to inform and track our work and discussion.

Right now, my class is reading Out of the Deep.  It's a National Park mystery that fits well with our current United States Regions and Endangered Species units. It is also a good fit for current events since many dolphins and some whales have recently beached at nearby Cape Cod and South Shore beaches which has presented a mystery similar to Out of the Deep in our region.

Throughout our reading, we'll focus on the following aspects of reading.
  • Review of the comprehension strategies: visualization, making connections, asking questions, and making inferences.
  • Review of story elements.
  • Learning how to read and think about the mystery genre.
  • Facts and information related to U.S. regions and endangered species.
As we work on this unit, I'll consult the reading coach and students as we face the following challenges:
  • Supporting readers who need teacher help for the at-home portion of the reading.
  • Completing the more rigorous aspects of our study in ways that are enjoyable and manageable, not too challenging or dull.
  • Helping students out with blog access and response.
If you take a look at the blog, you'll notice that there's a range of responses, and many students are still satisfied to copy a friend's comment as their own. I'll work to extend their thinking.  Some are also working to keep up with the at-home reading and response.  

All in all, this interactive read aloud is off to a good start.  

Do you utilize interactive read aloud as part of your classroom program?  If so, how do you track and share student work?  Do you embed technology into your work?  If so, how do you do this?  What suggestions do you have to offer me as we continue this study?  Thanks for your ideas.