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...

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. 

35 Answers

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

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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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celtic1108 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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

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

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

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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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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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

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

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

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

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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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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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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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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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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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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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

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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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