Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Read alouds should always start with essential questions and sentence and question frames that help build academic language skills. 

Read aloud sentence frames: Identifying the main points, themes, and ideas: 
  • I think the main idea of this story is … because ...
  • I believe that the theme of this story is … because ...
  • I have come to this conclusion about the... because… 
  • …is a specific text detail that supports the idea of … 
  • The main idea is … because of the text evidence in this passage ... In this story, the author is focusing on… 
  • The author provides this information because s/he wants the reader to …

Using Sentence Frames to Develop Academic Vocabulary for English Learners

Dialectic Read Alouds: Read alouds and think alouds should
promote a deep exploration of texts using read aloud sentence frames and Socratic discussions that examine text structures, literary element, and reading as a rhetorical exercise. Using interrogational or probing questions that are open-ended, should be used during the interpretation of a text, drawing out students, assumptions, predictions, conclusions, and questions. When teachers and students participate in a Socratic seminar, all ideas, questions, statements, and opinions are valued and should be elicited from students during the structured discussions and the students think pair shares. The Rules for a Socratic Read Aloud is, all points are valued and there is no WRONG answer, just opportunities for modification and changes to everyone's prior knowledge including the teachers.

Why we need to read aloud to students each and every day:
  • Reading and sharing is FUN!
  • Start the day with a positive inspirational message.
  • Build students curiosity, imagination and philosopher’s passion.
  • Teach students morals, responsibility, resilience, and ethics.
  • Build vocabulary and background knowledge
  • Build a love of literature and a passion for books.
  • Integrate ELA concepts with social studies, science and math curriculum.
  • Support whole class book clubs and novel studies.
  • Help students discuss and think about literature at a deeper level.
  • Introduce new close reading strategies.
  • Introduce the themes and main ideas of different genres.
  • Discover new vistas, frontiers, ideas, and amazing worlds.
  • Guide students in the Socratic thinking, effective questioning, attentive listening,  and discussion protocols.
  • Develop students understanding of elements of poetry, text structures, text features, and literary elements.

Reading and thinking aloud with students allows the teacher to:
  • Model accurate, fluent and expressive reading. 
  • Explore and interact with advanced literature and literary concepts
  • Explore and use tier 2 and tier 3 academic vocabulary
  • Model metacognition "Thinking Aloud." „ 
  • Model close reading strategies, tactics, and process. „ 
  • Examine text features and text structure. „ 
  • Make inferences, connections, draw conclusions,  and predictions.
Read Aloud „Teacher Preparation: 
1.     Selected a text with advanced literary concepts and interesting themes and ideas. In 4th grade I like reading Harry Potter, in part, it offers a thousand teachable moments! 
2.     Pre-reading the text or chapter is not always needed, modeling rereading and self-correction is a good thing! 
3.     Select a Target Goal "I Can Reading Statements", "I can use my discussion skills etcetera"
4.     Identify the close reading strategy you want to focus on. Text Coding, Cornell Notes, Rereading and Self-Quizzing, Thinking Aloud, Generating Effective Questions, Summarizing, Keyword Outlines and Examining Text features and Text Structures Using Post-it Notes. 
5.     Look for opportunities to do a "review preview" or anticipatory set, front load background knowledge for students deeper understanding and comprehension. 
Socratic Read Aloud Protocols:

Teacher Reads: Read the passage or chapter like a dramatis a thespian, modeling fluency, emotion, and expression!

Note: Short passages are read "clean" without stopping to talk about word meanings and front loading background knowledge. The second reading of a short passage is the full-text analysis, think-alouds and the unpacking of the thinking process. 

Students attentively listen and think: Students track word for word using their eyes and their pointing finger. Students actively think about making connections to the text and comprehending the ideas while listening to the read aloud. Successful readers actively think and make connections to their prior knowledge, personal experiences and other books, plays or movies they have read or seen.

Think aloud ideas:
  • “This is (not) making sense to me because”
  • “This is new information, it connects (or doesn’t) with what I already read or experienced...."
  • “This is new information, it connects (or doesn’t) with my prior knowledge....”
  • “Wow, I understand this better....”
  • “This makes sense now because . . .”
  • “Ohh, I think that means. . . .”
  • “This part is really saying . . .”
  • “At first, I thought this was about...., but now, I think...”
Teacher Think Alouds: I read the passage a second time, and this reading is the full interpretation of the text stopping frequently to talk about word meanings and front loading background knowledge always looking for the "Teachable Moments"! I stop every few sentences and explicitly frontload tier 2 and 3 concepts, asking interrogational probing HOT questions. The paired students can do a Think Pair Share before and after I do my think aloud. 

More think alouds ideas:

  • “I used my imagination and....,.I see.....”
  • “This is fascinating because.....”
  • “This is hard to understand because....”
  • “This is less confusing because.....”
  • “I enjoyed this part.....”
  • “I don’t like this part because....”
  • “My favorite part (so far) is.... .”
  • “I think this might be about.....”
  • “Something I should  do to help me understand this better.....”
  • “Since I don’t understand this word, a good strategy would be ...."
  • “I need to revise my thinking....”
  • “My prediction is...."
  • "My guess is this will happen next....”
  • “I wonder if this will happen”
  • "I imagine the author believes...”
  • “This part reminds me of a character/setting/theme.....”
Teacher and Student Think-Alouds develops students ability to:

Understand that the reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. In addition, reading requires imagination, curiosity, creativity, and critical analysis.

  • Understand that reading is a complex cognitive process, the interaction between the author's ideas and the reader ability to fully connect and interpret those ideas using the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language ability. 
  • Moving from phonemic decoding and word calling to  building new knowledge and comprehending.
  • Practice higher order thinking strategies like, comparing and contrasting "semantic analysis", predicting, making inferences, and drawing conclusions.
  • Use context clues and word analysis to identify the meaning of unknown words.
  • Share ideas, questions, predictions, misconceptions, opinions, and passions with peers and teachers.
  • Listen, Think, Question, Reflect,  Learn, and Thrive Academically. 
  • Reflect upon their experiences, their learning, connections to themselves and their reading.
Students attentively Discuss and Question: Students do a Think Pair Share for all mini-lectures and when needed, use and take Cornell notes or Lotus Notes. It is important that Socratic discussion models are used, students must share in their own words what others have shared in order to evoke active listening.

Students Making Connection:

  • “This word is hard because there are no context clues.....”
  • “This part is confusing; I think it might be about....”
  • “This passage reminds me of.....”
  • “This part of the book is like.....”
  • “This protagonist/antagonist is like..... because....”
  • “This is passage similar to....”
  • “I also (name something in the text that has also happened personally to student).”
  • “This protagonist/antagonist makes me think of . . .”
  • “The setting reminds me of another....”
  • “This is helped me think about...”
  • “This part is fascinating because...”
  • “I like the part where protagonist/antagonist... ”
  • “I don’t like this part because the protagonist/antagonist....”
  • “My favorite part (so far) is . . .”
  • “I think this might be about....”
  • "I used my imagination and I see....”

Teacher Quick-Check: The teacher uses a whole class quick-check or equity sticks and cold calls. 

Extensions: Students can be released to do a Survey-question-read-recite-review (SQ3R) after the teacher presents a read aloud and think aloud.

(SQ3R) Quick Review 


Students survey and skim the text reading the headings, subheadings and other relevant features of the text. Students are identifying the big ideas and formulating questions to keep in mind to make connects to the context during the reading.

Quiz Questions: Formulate Quiz questions using the headings and subheadings, captions, and pictures. You will use them to find the answers as you read the text. Open-ended stem questions:
  • What is this.....text about?
  • What question is this passage trying to answer?
  • Why or how does this information help me?
Read (R1): Reading actively, close reading, and reading and annotating the text using text codes to find the answers to your questions. 

Recite (R2):  "Recite/wRite" or "Recall." Using key phrases, statements that identify major points and answers the questions. "Recite/wRite" or "Recall." can be presented in an oral or written format. 

Review (R3) "Read and Review." or "Read and Reflect" Students uses Cornell Notes or a Lotus Diagram to study, review, summarize, reflect on learning and self-quiz. The study notes can be used to review information study over time to reinforce learning and memory. 

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