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  • Developed by Rachel Rupke

    Kwayaciiwin Interactive Read-Aloud Kits (K-3)

  • Table of Contents

    1. Reading Aloud is Important2. Kwayaciiwin Interactive Read-Aloud Kits3. What is an Interactive Read-Aloud?4. Clear Instructional Focus5. Careful Selection of Books6. Explicit Teaching of Vocabulary7. Teacher Think Alouds8. Think/Pair/Share9. Other Considerations10. Getting Good at Reading Aloud11. Planning Your Own Interactive Read-Aloud12. AssessmentAppendix A- Overview of Texts K-3Appendix B- Read-Aloud Planning Template Appendix C- Read-Aloud Assessment Checklist

  • 1. Reading Aloud is Important!

    Reading to children is the most effective literacy demonstration you can provide. As you read aloud, you demonstrate how to think and act like a reader. (Matching Books to Readers, Page 9)

    When we read aloud, our students:Discover how print worksSee how illustrations enhance the textBuild their vocabulariesEnhance their reading fluencyGlean ideas for their own writingStrengthen comprehension skillsDevelop an understanding of literary elementsDiscover the meaning of genreDevelop a shared language for talking about books

  • 2. Kwayaciiwin Read-Aloud Kits

    Kwayaciiwin has created four different Interactive Read-Aloud Kits: a Kindergarten kit, a Grade One kit, a Grade Two kit and a Grade 3 kit.

    Each kit includes:25 Grade appropriate read-aloud texts (mix of fiction/non-fiction)25 Lesson plans (one for each of the read-aloud books)Poster for each lesson to record thinking (hard copy and digital version for SmartBoards)Overview of texts and instructional focus for each textGuide to Kwayaciiwin Interactive Read-Alouds (K-3)Video demonstrationChecklist assessmentPlanning template (to create your own lessons)

    The Kwayaciiwin Interactive Read-Aloud Kits were created to provide early literacy classrooms in the North with culturally appropriate, engaging read-aloud books and lessons that target specific reading goals.

  • 3. What is an Interactive Read-Aloud?

    According to Fountas and Pinnell, an Interactive Read-Aloud is A teaching context in which students are actively listening and responding to an oral reading of a text (The Continuum of Literacy Learning, p. 163).

    Characteristics of an effective Interactive Read-Aloud lesson:Clear Instructional FocusBooks are Chosen CarefullyVocabulary is Explicitly TaughtTeacher Think AloudsStudents Take an Active Role

  • 4. Clear Instructional Focus

    An effective interactive read-aloud lesson always has a clear instructional focus. Teachers should choose a focus based on where their students are at and where they want to take them. During the read-aloud, hone in on the particular strategy or idea you have chosen for an instructional focus. Focus conversations and observations around that teaching point.

    The Kwayaciiwin lessons are organized into four different categories of instructional focuses:

    (1) Comprehension Skills- Using Prior Knowledge, Asking Questions, Making ! Connections, Predicting, Inferring, Visualizing and Determining Important ! Ideas

    (2) Story Elements- Beginning/Middle/End, Setting, Character Development, ! Problem/Solution and Theme/Authors Purpose

    (3) Genre/Form- Non-Fiction, Traditional Stories, Poetry, Alphabet Books, ! Memoir, Fantasy, Fairytale, Biography, How To/Instruction Book and ! Historical Fiction

    (4) Writing Traits- Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice and Sentence ! Fluency

  • 5. Careful Selection of Books

    We must thoughtfully consider what books we want to share with our students as interactive read-alouds. Anne Hoyt explains that, read-alouds can become a foundation for expansion of oral language, a challenging opportunity to stimulate deeper thinking, a rich moment when we can expose learners to beautiful art, and most certainly, a time when we can broaden childrens world knowledge (2007, p. 23).

    Some questions that can be helpful to consider when selecting an interactive read-aloud book are:

    Does the book connect to your instructional goal?Is the book age appropriate? Will your students find the book relevant to their lives and culture?Are the illustrations eye catching? Do they enhance the story?Does the word choice grab your attention? Sing with rhythm or rhyme?Does the book keep you on the edge of your seat? Can your make the book come alive with your delivery?Will the book motivate deeper topical understanding? Does it connect to other curricular areas?Is the book memorable? Will your students want to hear it again?

    The Kwayaciiwin Interactive Read-Aloud book choices were selected using the above criteria. It was important for us to find quality pieces of literature that our students can connect with from a variety of genres, that connect to other curricular areas.

  • 6. Explicit Teaching of Vocabulary

    There are four strategies that can be used during a read-aloud that help in the vocabulary development of students. These strategies take very little time but provide students with the meaning of the word in context.

    Strategy # 1: A Short Phrase or Sentence ExplanationFor words that are easy to explain, a short phrase or sentence explanation may be the best way to get the meaning of the word across to students. For example, if the sentence read, The frugal old man went to the market, the teacher could give a short explanation of the world frugal by saying frugal means to be really careful with your money.

    Strategy # 2: Using the IllustrationSometimes the meaning of a word is depicted clearly in the illustration. When this is the case, the illustration can be used to guide students to understanding the word. For example, if the sentence read, The canyon was majestic, the teacher could use the accompanying illustration to explain to students what a canyon is.

    Strategy # 3: Using the Expression in Your VoiceOther times, all it takes is the expression in your voice to depict the meaning of a word. For example, if the sentence read, My mother burst in the room, the meaning of the word burst could be depicted simply through expression.

    Strategy # 4: Using Dramatic GesturesDramatic gestures are also a good way to show the meaning of a word. For example, if the sentence read, The plane plummeted to the ground, a simply hand gesture would successfully show the meaning of the word plummeted.

  • 7. Teacher Think Alouds

    What is a Teacher Think Aloud?A Teacher Think Aloud is a time when the teacher pauses during a read-aloud to model how strong readers dont just read the words but also think about the story and use strategies to understand it better. Teacher Think Alouds should be connected with the instructional focus/teaching point of a lesson.In all of the Kwayaciiwin Interactive Read-Aloud lessons, there are suggestions on where to stop and think aloud and on what to say during the Think Aloud.

    Why are Teacher Think Alouds Important?Teacher Think Alouds are important because by modelling for students the types of behaviour good readers are engaged in, the teacher is making the student aware of strategies and monitoring behaviours that will make them better readers. Some students will pick up these strategies independently, but most students need to be explicitly taught reading strategies. Thinking aloud allows teachers to raise students awareness of what it means to be a strategic reader.

    How do I plan an effective Think Aloud?Plan ahead of time where you are going to stop and think aloudMark the places you are going to stop with a sticky note and jot down a summary of the point you want to make in your Think AloudLink the Think Aloud to your instructional purpose

  • 8. Think/Pair/Share

    In a traditional classroom setting teachers do most of the talking, while students sit back passively listening. Students that do talk are the predictable few who raise their hands quickly and want to be heard. This results in only a small number of children sharing their thoughts.

    Teachers who use the Think/Pair/Share strategy give all students a chance to share their ideas and engage in conversations about their thinking.

    To do a Think/Pair/Share during an interactive read-aloud, teachers begin by posing a question to their students. Students are given a moment to think about the question and are then asked to pair up with their thinking partners and share their thoughts about the question that was posed. The teacher listens in on partner conversations and then asks a couple of students to share what they talked about with their partners.

    Some things to note about the Think/Pair/Share strategy:A Think/Pair/Share should not take a long amount of time. Give students

    ! ! about 20-30 seconds to talk with their partners.No more than 3-4 Think/Pair/Shares per read-aloud. More than this will

    ! ! interrupt the flow of the book.Choose thinking partners carefully. Always model for students what thinking partner conversations should

    ! ! look like. Provide students with sentence stems to help them begin ! ! conversations and state their opinions.

  • 9. Other Considerations

    How Often?As a primary teacher, you want to be reading aloud to your class at least once a day. Many teachers read aloud to their class two or three times a day. Not every read-aloud should be an interactive read-aloud, as interactive read-alouds are more time consuming and require significant planning. Teachers should plan to do interactive read-alouds 2-3 times per week during their literacy block.

    Where?It is important to design a space in your room that can be used to read aloud to your students. Many teachers choose a space on the carpet, that is comfortable for students. Proximity is another important consideration, as it


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