One common question from teachers in kindergarten all the way through 12th grade is, 

“I’m reading a new piece of text with my kids. Should I do it as a read aloud first off so they can do the thinking about the text or do I have the kids read the text on their own?”

My answer is always to have the kids read it on their own first – but with help. 

When we take away kids’ opportunities to read text organically from the beginning, we’re taking away the opportunity to practice how to handle text. Part of the reason we should be reading so much in classes is not just do you read the text, but are you able to read new text? 

Instead of just giving text to kids and saying read it, I’ll break it up into chunks and say, ‘Okay, we’re gonna read the first three paragraphs, note this particular word,’ or ‘I’m going to have you read the next page and I want you to notice how the author does this, or pay attention to that.’

I don’t leave them on their own, but I give them a structured first read of the text together. 

For more help and tips on how to improve your teaching practice, check out the book:

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.