Balanced Literacy 101: Interactive Read Alouds

So this year I’ve jumped in to this thing called “Balanced Literacy”. At first, I was a little nervous, unsure of the routines and the layout of the entire program. I always had a reading framework, and never thought I REALLY relied on it as much…until now 🙂 So getting through that initial place where I was a little bit intimidated and all was difficult. But now I have to say, I’m IN LOVE with Balanced Literacy! I love the FREEDOM that I have to decide what MY students need, each and every one of them! I’m going to do a series of posts, but this one will be all about read alouds!!

The important part about read alouds is that they are planned. They are not something we grab off the shelf on the way in the classroom. Read Alouds offer a way to tie in your other subjects. I TRY to do 3-4 read alouds a day.

1 to kick off my reading block
1 math book to kick of my guided math routine
1 chapter book after lunch (just a few pages a day)
1 theme/holiday book

A great interactive read aloud is typically ABOVE your students reading level. This way they are exposed to higher vocabulary and text features. You can use fiction or non fiction books! I like to use a mixture of both!!

I try to use as many cross circular read alouds as I can. I often do not have enough time to spend on social studies or science. So that is the perfect time for me to use a read aloud that hits the skill or topic I’m trying to address. For example, we are learning about Presidents and Famous Americans in social studies. I ALWAYS begin my reading block with a read aloud. Right now I’m using books about Presidents and Famous Americans 🙂

Abraham Lincoln Read Alouds

Looking at Lincoln is a great book because it allows children to get to know Lincoln as a person, not just a President. The author provides several unheard of facts and the book is very engaging! It is a MUST have I promise! My kids LOVED this book! We made a nice little anchor chart using the top of Lincoln’s hat {sorry, I accidentally deleted my picture}Y’all know it wasn’t cute anyways bc my hand drawn charts are just awful!!!

We also read “My First Biography: Abraham Lincoln”
Another great book! We compared the two stories and how we learned different facts from each book. The kids loved this!

George Washington Read Alouds

Another component ( that I’ll blog about soon) is integrating writing into your literacy block. I was able to do that SO easily this week with my sweet friend Kelly’s from Teacher Idea Factory  Presidential Packet! My kids LOVED The Lincoln Writing activity! They can’t wait to finish out our Presidents unit using this packet!

Read Alouds are a great component to ANY literacy program. If you are not currently using read alouds, I encourage you to think about it. They can be very interactive and a great tool. I am able to hit on so many different areas. Modeling my critical thinking is so easy during a read aloud. Students do not even really look at it as learning, more of a discussion. That’s what is so neat about it. Especially when you use titles and stories that THEY like. 

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