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What is this component? Each lesson, teachers read from a grade-level anchor text selected for its culturally relevant content and because it contains themes engaging for middle grade readers. That is, each text was selected in the hope that students would see themselves or their communities reflected on its pages. The anchor text is read aloud by the classroom teacher as students follow along. Vocabulary instruction focused on both words for discussing the text and on words and phrases found within the text occurs both before and during the read aloud. During the interactive read aloud, teacher lesson plans call for educators to model thinking and provide purpose, literal and inferential comprehension, and discussion questions to foster students’ text understanding.
Why does this component matter? For many students who are disfluent readers, slow, laborious word reading can impact text comprehension. As a result, less-fluent readers may not experience reading as a more fluent reader might: as meaning-making. Over time, too few experiences to be fully engaged in the task of text comprehension can leave less-skilled readers with under-developed skills to make meaning from text and with few opportunities to be exposed to the language and concepts found in grade-level print. For these reasons, we include daily teacher read alouds that give access to the concepts and language of an authentic grade-level text. Additionally, multilingual youth need to see themselves in the texts that they read as part of fostering a positive multilingual and multicultural identity.
What skills and competencies does this component develop? Interactive read-alouds cultivate English reading comprehension skills and offer opportunities to acquire grade-level language and content knowledge. When the texts read aloud are culturally relevant, they also promote a positive multilingual and multicultural identity.
What do students do each week? Interactive read-alouds follow a set format and occur each day of the week. An anchor chart designed to guide students through the Reading Interactively portion of the lesson.
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