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Do you read aloud in your classes?At the high school level, do you ever read aloud to...

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 10, 2010 at 6:37 PM via web

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Do you read aloud in your classes?

At the high school level, do you ever read aloud to or with your classes?  Plays are one obvious out-loud reading opportunity, of course.  I'm interested in hearing under what circumstances, if any, you use class time to read aloud. 

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM (Answer #2)

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I teach Brit lit to 10th graders.  After we study John Donne, we always read Margaret Edson's Wit aloud.  It is a wonderful play based on allusions to Donne's works, and the students are always engrossed in it.  It is a no-fail lesson that works for high, medium, and low students.   All you need is a very good reader for the part of Vivian Bearing.

 

I also have students read aloud parts of Othello. I find it works better for their understanding of the play if they read aloud key scenes.  I do the same for Hamlet. We do not read the entire plays aloud, but we do read selected scenes.  It makes for more student engagement in the text and increases understanding.

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martinjmurphy | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 11, 2010 at 7:45 AM (Answer #3)

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I am not a Liteature teacher, but a history teacher.  I do read material out loud when dealing with difficult reading material.  I use quite a bit of primary source material in my classroom and I really think it helps with student comprehension when I read these types of works out loud.  Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and other speeches are obvious sources to read out loud, but The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as the Federalist Papers are difficult for some students to just read on their own.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 11, 2010 at 12:08 PM (Answer #4)

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I read aloud in every class, with every book, at every grade and level.  I don't do it every day, but certainly every week.  I've found that students not only LOVE it, but it allows me to model reading and thinking, generates discussion, helps students understand and enjoy the book more... I've never had a class who didn't like being read to.  In fact, I often give the option of me reading to them or letting them read alone, in partners, something else - 90% of the time the class wants me to read.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 11, 2010 at 7:05 PM (Answer #5)

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You bet.  Especially because I have a lot of ESL students, and because my native speakers don't really read or speak that well.  So they need a model. I don't read entire chapters or pieces to them, I read some, they read some, and usually just the random people I call on.  My responsibility to model for them, their responsibility to practice.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 11, 2010 at 9:14 PM (Answer #6)

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Reading aloud affords the students who cannot read as well better comprehension, for the teacher pauses at punctuation, pronounces correctly, puts expression into the passage.  And, as others have remarked, a teacher's reading aloud models for the students. 

It is also often beneficial to read aloud the beginning of novels and explain the first chapter to students.  In this way, there interest is piqued and they feel as though they were given a head start. 

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ktmagalia | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted July 12, 2010 at 6:38 AM (Answer #7)

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Reading aloud affords the students who cannot read as well better comprehension, for the teacher pauses at punctuation, pronounces correctly, puts expression into the passage.  And, as others have remarked, a teacher's reading aloud models for the students. 

It is also often beneficial to read aloud the beginning of novels and explain the first chapter to students.  In this way, there interest is piqued and they feel as though they were given a head start. 

Absolutely! I couldn't imagine NOT reading aloud in my English classes....at all levels but sometimes for different reasons.  For example, with my lower level readers, it is essential to read aloud because, well, I'm a realist, the majority of students will not read difficult texts on their own.  They don't like reading to begin with, struggle with comprehension, and reading a dense novel by themselves isolates them too much.  But as #6 adds, I always like to read the "start"of a novel so that students get a "feel" for what's to come (even with my AP classes).  I always find, though, that some of my weaker students love to read aloud.  This can be a little painful, but I always allow students to read...even just a paragraph.  I've started using "time" as an indicator of how much a reader will read, and that way the class doesn't become frustrated with slow pace. 

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 12, 2010 at 10:42 AM (Answer #8)

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I, too, often read aloud to my high school students. Not only is it important to model fluent reading for students, but--with the help of the think aloud strategy as well--I can also model the types of critical thinking and the various strategies and techniques that go into more critical reading of a text. All too often, students think this "just happens" for some people and often fail to realize that an awful lot of work and frequent false starts in thinking lead to this level of analysis. I'm convinced it is one of the most important things that I do in the classroom.

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM (Answer #9)

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We read lots of short stories out loud together, we often take turns and do a round-robin style read aloud. I also read aloud articles, and stop frequently to talk about what we've read. I think it can be helpful for learners to hear things read out loud, and it increases fluency. The more you read aloud, the more expressive and eloquent you become. It also breaks up the period a bit to have some things read aloud, plays acted out, and discussion going on. So yes, I'm a big proponent of reading aloud in the classroom!

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 12, 2010 at 12:48 PM (Answer #10)

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I have observed many different classrooms. The ones where reading aloud was an everyday part of the class all seemed to have more students engaged in what was going on. I have found that even your best readers at the high school level enjoy having the teacher read to them on occasion.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:16 PM (Answer #11)

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Absolutely! I read to all levels of my high school teaching and supplement this with volunteers. I find it is a perfect way to utilise the last lesson of the afternoon and increases students' engagement and understanding of a text. I never make students read aloud unless the y choose to though - I remember the fear factor of this and frantically scanning 'my bit' resulting in a loss of focus on the text as a whole.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 16, 2010 at 4:13 PM (Answer #12)

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I especially like reading aloud when I want the class to have the "collective" experience of the story -- no one has it ruined by chatter around the lunch table. My favorite story to read aloud is Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily."  I know what is coming so I can change my inflection as needed.  I can use my tone of voice to convey the tone of the narration.  I get to slow down the pace of my reading in those last couple of paragraphs when the horror of dead Homer is revealed.  Best of all, the last line about the long strand of iron grey hair.  The audible gasp from the students is priceless!

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burbina | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 19, 2010 at 5:52 PM (Answer #13)

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I've had some rough classes, and covered for other teachers with rough classes, and I've found that the most effective way to keep the kids engaged is by reading out loud...or having them read out loud as well.  When they are to read silently on their own, so many kids get lost.  They either don't understand what they're reading, or they flat out hate to read and just ACT like they're reading.  I've had kids admit they didn't read a novel...just listened to class discussion (in Advanced classes...they usually do more outside independent reading), and reading out loud forces them to "read" even if they're just listening or following along.  I think it also helps the kids get into the book to hear it read from someone who can "read" out loud.  Their own reading may be very monotone...even in their heads, and that's one reason they get so bored so quickly.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 25, 2010 at 8:12 AM (Answer #14)

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I have taken teacher read-aloud to the next level. By using Audacity software (available free online), I am able to record chapters of texts, short stories, and other literature for repeated use in class. The kids like it better, as we can stop, pause, and reflect, and it saves me from reading the same passages five times per day.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:26 AM (Answer #15)

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I, too, teach History and try to find as many chances as possible to read aloud.  I actually like to read aloud works to the class as a whole.  In a weird way, I sense that many of them like "being read to."  I was in a reading class years ago where the instructor made the argument that while many of us, the students who were teachers in the class, were used to having our parents read to us, this might not be the case today.  The instructor argued that some students, an increasing number, do not know what it's like to have an adult read to them.  It stuck with me.  I read aloud in this light.  Some colleagues make fun of me for it, but I think it's important for kids to understand what it is to read aloud in a proper context, or at least hear someone trying to do so.  It's corny and a bit cheesy, but I totally buy into it.  I think it also works perfectly for your auditory learners who need something processed in this manner.  For the visual learners, they can follow along with a hard copy provided.

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 10, 2010 at 4:31 AM (Answer #16)

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Do you read aloud in your classes?

At the high school level, do you ever read aloud to or with your classes?  Plays are one obvious out-loud reading opportunity, of course.  I'm interested in hearing under what circumstances, if any, you use class time to read aloud. 

My school focused on integrating reading in all subject areas into the curriculum as it is a basic skill all students need to possess. I use reading everyday at some point in my science lesson. For example, it could be using the textbook during a portion of the lesson to help students understand science vocabulary, which can be a stumbling block for most students. When reading in class, I will read a passage and have volunteers read as well. We will usually use two different colored markers; one to highlight words we know first, and the other to highlight words the students have difficulty with. It provides a visual for the students and we can then use the words we don't know, as a springboard for discussion, or to define on index cards, hang up and produce a "word wall". Another way I use reading in the science classroom is to have my students read the NYTImes every Thursday. They have a wonderful Science Times section and my students become trained to reading science articles  to learn about breakthroughs, technology and improve their reading and vocabulary levels. READING IS TRULY FUNDAMENTAL and the more you read, I believe, the more intelligent you become!

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 10, 2010 at 4:53 AM (Answer #17)

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I meant, Tuesday, not Thursday!!!! For reading the Science Times section.

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leabc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 11, 2010 at 10:14 AM (Answer #18)

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In my history class, there are times when I ask the kids to read aloud.  I read some primary documents to them, especially in the beginning of the year, to help them understand the material.

My favorite thing is to read stories to them.  I refer to it as 'story time' and usually get a chuckle from the kids in the beginning of the year.  I read from an early reader about Columbus, Brer Rabbit, spoofs on the Three Little Pigs, etc.  Things they would have heard in elementary school, but with more meaning at the high school level.

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ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:19 PM (Answer #19)

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I always read aloud in my classes--and require that my students do so, too.  I find it to be so valuable at every level.  The struggling readers really benefit from hearing someone who reads well read to them, and the top students can also benefit from hearing excerpts of a text read aloud. At the Honors/AP level, I find it beneficial to read an excerpt from a text and pick it apart in the same way students are required to complete the passage-based questions and essays on the AP exam. 

And I totally agree with mwestwood--I always read the first chapter of a novel to the students, regardless of their grade/ability level.  (A perfect example is Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird, which I think is the single most difficult chapter in the novel for the students.)  Interestingly, I've always found that students who are absent the day we begin a new novel are inevitably behind those who were present for that class.   

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flamingogirl | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:31 PM (Answer #20)

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Yes! This is an important component of balanced literacy and should be part of any reading instruction. I was apprehensive about it when I first started teaching because they were 6th graders, but I discovered they love it as much as young children do. I found that the key is to give them copies of their own to read silently as I read aloud. This serves two purposes -- it exposes them to the vocabulary on paper as well as orally, and it keeps them from getting distracted (i.e., into mischief) while I read.  Many of my students are not able to read at grade level, but they can certainly comprehend at grade level (and often above) if I do the reading for them. Then they have exposure to vocabulary and the chance to develop higher order thinking skills as they discuss the book together.

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picturesque | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 26, 2010 at 6:16 AM (Answer #21)

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Yes i support loud reading in the class particularly for language students  because it injects fluency to the language and removes hesitations to speak a language.

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amytag | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted August 27, 2010 at 7:19 PM (Answer #22)

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Do you read aloud in your classes?

At the high school level, do you ever read aloud to or with your classes?  Plays are one obvious out-loud reading opportunity, of course.  I'm interested in hearing under what circumstances, if any, you use class time to read aloud. 

I do read aloud in my classes to undergraduates in English.  Most students seem to enjoy it, or remark about it being unusual but welcome.  For example, one student explained that being read to reminded her of being at home with her parents and family.  In turn, she felt more relaxed and confident in my classroom.  As a result, I've used this technique especially on the first day of classes in the hope that students will unconsciously feel more at ease.

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liveurdreams | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 29, 2010 at 6:28 PM (Answer #23)

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I love to read aloud to my students.  They really enjoy it.  Especially at the elementary level.  My school focused a lot on fluency so it was important that I read to my students.  I was a model for them.  I showed them how a fluent reader reads.  Plus you can do fun activities with kids after you read a story. 

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picturesque | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM (Answer #24)

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Yes loud reading is so useful. I have myself as a student gained many many things from loud reading. It is also very useful to build up one's confidence level.

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celtic1108 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 30, 2010 at 5:33 PM (Answer #25)

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Do you read aloud in your classes?

At the high school level, do you ever read aloud to or with your classes?  Plays are one obvious out-loud reading opportunity, of course.  I'm interested in hearing under what circumstances, if any, you use class time to read aloud. 

I am an English teacher at the college level and I read to my students all the time. I read to them to demonstrate how one should read. Even when we read to ourselves, if we are monotone we will get bored. I also make each student read AS OFTEN AS I CAN! I stress this for several reasons. The main reason is to hear how they read. If they mispronounce or skip words as the read to the class, they do that when they read to themselves. This is key when it comes to reading comprehension. Also, look back at my original statement. Monotone=boring. We need to bring life back to reading, even text book reading.

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picturesque | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted September 1, 2010 at 1:43 PM (Answer #26)

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"I think loud reading also adds some information unconsciously to memory"

hadayat

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zachmack | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 6, 2010 at 6:10 PM (Answer #27)

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I'm not actually read aloud in front of the audients because my voice is too soft and quiet. My classmates told me that I do whispering when I'm talking to somebody even in public speaking. I am a English Major student but I prove to myself and to them that there's always a way to improve the voice like practicing and there's a saying "Practice makes Perfect!" My sister gave me a strength to prove that I can do it and My teacher told me that It is okay that my voice is too soft and quiet, but the most important is you know what you are saying and they can understand it.

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zachmack | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 6, 2010 at 6:32 PM (Answer #28)

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I'm not actually read aloud in front of the audients beacuse my voice too soft and quiet. My classmates told me that I do whispering when I'm talking to somebody even in public speaking. I am an English Major student but I prove to myself and also to them that there's always a way to improve the voice like practicing and there's a saying "Practice makes Perfect!" My sister gave me a strength to prove that I can do it and My teacher told me that It is okay that my voice is too soft and quiet, but the most important is you know what you are saying and they can understand it.

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whytaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 10, 2010 at 6:16 PM (Answer #29)

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I read aloud often to my students.  I began doing this while student teaching and loved how it gave students a chance to ask questions or begin a discussion right as a question or issue arises. 

I continue doing it because I have not had great success with students actually reading for their homework.  Often...they don't.  Or one or two do and you can not have a discussion with only one or two students.

Reading aloud ensures the book is read by everyone.

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melvin900 | eNoter

Posted September 27, 2010 at 1:48 AM (Answer #30)

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I find it really helps to read my writing aloud as I rewrite, "acting" out the parts, listening to the dialogue to see if sounds real or contrived, listening to the flow and rhythm of the sentences and paragraphs, then rewriting accordingly. Think of yourself as a composer at the piano, repeatedly playing and singing your song aloud, and revising and fine-tuning until it feels like every line is just right.

 

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landsmerryman | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted September 30, 2010 at 5:41 PM (Answer #31)

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I often read aloud to students in my Sci-Fi and Fantasy course (yes, it's high school).  The reason for this is in an elective, the make up of the course can be varied in terms of abilities.  Some students may have IEPs where the goal is to read on a 5th grade level, while other students may be in AP courses and reading like a collegian.  By reading aloud, I help improve the comprehension of all students, and I set the pace.  All students should read at the same pace and finish at the same time when I read aloud.  Plus, to be honest, I enjoy it. 

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niellotus | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted October 10, 2010 at 7:04 AM (Answer #32)

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Sure. As a teacher of English literature, I find that reading aloud give a deeper meaning, an insight into what the writer wishes to say. The students get a feel of the words, the exact pronunciation.

 

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mrmckinnon | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:34 AM (Answer #33)

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I can't imagine a solid argument for not reading aloud. Even with the top academic students in the highest level course, hearing the teacher read provides an opportunity to fine tune listening skills. Having the students read aloud allows them to boost their confidence and practice oral skills like inflection, pace and so forth. The material used is irrelevant. Whether it is poetry, prose, non-fiction or fiction, reading aloud is a valuable experience for all involved.

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adobson1 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 24, 2010 at 4:51 PM (Answer #34)

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It depends on the class, what we are reading and the teacher. We just finished the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales and our teacher read us most of the story but for the actually tales we had to read them ourselves and present them to the class.

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