To read, or not to read... out loud

Fostering independent readers and student ownership of text

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What are we asking of our students?

I have pondered the idea of independent reading in my own classroom for years. Not just SSR but the required texts we use in class. Isn't it easier, faster, more engaging when I just read the text out loud, especially those period pieces that have a completely different cadence from modern English? I mean, I do the voices. I know where the inflection should be. I can pause and ask questions before barreling on to the next section.That modeling helps my students understand... Or does it?


There isn't a correct answer to this query, but many viewpoints about what constitutes quality interaction with texts. As we continue to strive for rigorous instruction for every student in every classroom, we have to consider who is holding most of the burden when it comes to reading in the classroom. How much independent struggle is enough? What level of teacher read-aloud or modeling is effective for student understanding? How do we support struggling readers and stretch advanced readers with the same text?

Resources to Explore

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