Indiana Reading Journal Volume 44 Issue 1 - Page 50

Syntactic Development-(Layne and Wright 2007;Mokhtari and Thompson 2006)

Comprehension-(Elster 1994; Knoth 1998; Kraemer, McCabe, and Sinatra 2012; Richardson,2000; Santoro, Chard, Howard, and Baker 2008; Sipe 2000; Smolkin and Donovan 2001, Teale 2003)

Fluency-(Hurst, Scales, Frecks, and Lewis 2011; Tompkins 2003; Trelease 2013)

Pronunciation and inflection- (Albright and Ariail 2005; Carbo 1966; Routman 2003).

Student writing-(Polette 2005)

Student engagement-(Albright and Arialil 2005; Morrison and Wlodarczyk 2009)

Student attitudes-(Braun 2010;Krashen 2004; Layne 2009; Trelease 2013)

Understanding of text types-(Donovan, Milewicz, and Smolkin 2003)

Student thinking and allows for imaginations-(Coiro 2000)

Our understanding of diversity thus, students become sensitive and more culturally aware-(Irvine and Armento 2001; Morgan 2009; Routman 2003; Verden 2012)

The teacher’s rapport within the classroom-(Atwell 2007; Pardeck 1990; Routman 2003)

It provides for biblio-therapeutic discussions, thus promoting and developing emotional intelligence-(Bauer and Balius 1995; Forgan and Gonzalez-DeHass 2004; Hackson and Panyan 2002; Sullivan and Strang 2002)

To be true to my knowledge the power of words can have, as well as continue with my “patriotic” declaration of read-aloud independence. I must also point out as Layne did the study conducted by the Commission of Reading, in Becoming a Nation of Readers, that decrees: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading, is reading aloud to children” (p. 9). Layne is quick to remind us that the Commission stated that “reading aloud is so important; it should be done at home and at school grades K-12” (p. 9). That’s right, both Layne and the Commission both contend that it should take place in middle and high school.

I hope you are now determined to impact students for a successful future, as well as push them to new heights of understanding. No more feeling powerless. Read-aloud is defendable and has research to back it up, as Layne, and others have proven. We have the research, we have the experience, and we have the desire… so what should we do? Here are my suggestions for the true read-aloud patriot:

Rules of Engagement for the Defense of Read Aloud

Commit to the Cause

It’s really quite simple. Commit to the cause: Read aloud. Make this school year the year that read aloud is your motto, your anthem, your fight song. You will not back down. Start visualizing it now: More than one read aloud, every day, every genre. Not just your favorites, but select new ones, ones that will stretch not only the thinking of your students, but yours as well. Commit to literacy that has a diverse appeal: Something for every subject, every standard, every culture, and most importantly every child.

Set the Purpose

Best practice also tells us that students should know the purpose of why they are being taught whatever it is that we are academically prescribing as a part of their day. Because of this, I suggest that a first step to reading aloud would be to explicitly teach your students that your read aloud is a valuable time, worth teaching, and it has purpose. I also propose you make an anchor chart with your class using the above research points and keep it posted in the classroom. (See PHOTO 2.) Seeing them anchored in your classroom as a reference point on the “day to day” will help you commit them to memory. And for you to defend read-aloud well, you must have some understanding of this research, so you can articulate it well to those questioning your intentions. Posting them will also help students gain understanding and recalling why you are taking the time to read aloud to them.