What do I know about Oral reading in class? I know it is a skill. I know it is one that most people do not have or wish to obtain. Maybe I’m assuming…but the majority of students get anxiety when they get “picked on”. I remember “playing” popcorn in grade school and feeling my stomach drop when my friends got picked because I knew my turn was coming up. I know that if we are reading a paragraph and then the person to the right reads next you bet your bottom dollar I am counting how many people until my turn and pre-reading to make sure I can pronounce all of the words and have enough time to practice. I know that this means I was not paying attention to a single word that was read before me. I know (from previous Currins classes) that reading out-loud is beneficial but it has to be done “right”. By “right” I mean, you should give students time to practice outside of class—this means assigning paragraphs the day before to read and practice as homework and giving a heads up they will read it out-loud the next day. However, I wonder if this creates a bit MORE anxiety. Now they know they will be reading a whole 24 hours in advance the horror to come. That gives them 24 hours to freak out. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I know of a lot of people who would rather jump in a pond of snapping turtles than read a sentence out-loud. Ok. Being dramatic again. But you get it.

What do I want to know….I want to know exactly why reading out-loud is worthwhile for teachers.

Or is it?

I want to know what type of students benefit from reading out loud or is it that students benefit from HEARING it.Would it be better if the teacher reads? Or does that make students fall asleep? Should I teach my students how to read out-loud? How do I make a comfortable classroom where people feel okay reading in front of their peers? Is that even possible? Is there more to be gained than just confidence when reading aloud happens(listening skills too)?

  I would love to find articles of teachers who have had lots of experience on it. I would also like to get some samples of students to write to me and tell me how they feel about reading out loud.

A few texts I will be studying and searching for answers in….

1) “Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”- When Kids Can’t Read–Kylene Beers

2) Though this is a bit more tailored for small kids, it still seems to have relevant ideas–Reading Aloud

3) I read the first few sentences and think this will help–Jessica Lahey

4) Listening Level




6 thoughts on “K-W-L

  1. I think racing out loud is essential to learning. We are put on the spot and asked to contribute in most situations in the real world and we need to give students the tools to meet the challenges they’ll face.They’ll have to read/speak out loud to be noticed. More importantly, if an issue is important to them, we need to give them the confidence to stand up and speak out in their lives. I can remember feeling really uncomfortable reading in front of the class and to be honest, still do not enjoy it. However, it is a fact of life and an essential skill. Eventually the fear will subside and a courageous voice may appear. We want students to speak up and engage us in the learning process and the first step in truly allowing them to do this is giving them the confidence to read out loud. We must challenge them in a careful and nurturing way, it is essential to the growth as responsible students and citizens. Silence gets us no where in life, but if we are taught to have confidence in ourselves and our voices then contributing becomes much easier. As we have been told many times this semester, students need to have confidence in themselves in order to feel capable enough to contribute to our classrooms and in their own lives. If we asked them to read out loud we give them a voice and, eventually the confidence they’ll need to embrace education. I think it is so important and researching ways to make students more comfortable in the process is something that I should also consider in my classrooms, as science texts can really be challenging for some students. Reading and writing are the cornerstones of education and if either one is not addressed than the student suffers. I think finding ways to make the process more enjoyable and productive for students is a really important aspect of teaching and I really look forward to reading your blog each week to find tips that may help me going forward.

  2. Flashback to my middle school experiences of reading aloud in the classroom! The points you have made are extremely valid. The anxiety some students have with reading out-loud in the classroom can lessen their focus as they are more concerned about being next in line to read than they are about paying attention to the reading of their classmates. I do find all of the questions you have in mind to be beneficial in finding a solution to this problem. I am curious to know what are the necessary steps needed to take to make students comfortable with reading aloud in a classroom setting? Do they benefit more from hearing it or reading it? One idea to explore could be having students practice in groups of 2 or 3. Could this help students practice reading skills and make them comfortable with reading in front of their classmates?

  3. I am really interested in your topic! As a preservice science content teacher, I have not had the chance to explore literacy before this class. When I was younger, oral reading in class gave me a great amount of anxiety. I can’t wait to read your resources, and research findings.

  4. This really is such an important topic and one that should not be over looked. Speaking in front of a class can be nerve racking, but it is also essential.

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