Lifting the Curtain

Aunt Ali reads aloud with Cassie and Abby.

I recently read an article on how important it is for teachers to read and write alongside our students. We work to make both processes seem natural and something they will do for the rest of their lives and not just inside of a classroom. I am always thinking aloud while I read with my middle school students. I will stop and say things like “that doesn’t make sense, let me go back and re-read that” or “that didn’t sound right, I need to try that again”. Because this happens in our real-world reading we need to make sure students see that reading is not about calling out words perfectly but about reading so that it makes sense for us.

This article parlays perfectly into the reading done with any child of any age. While it is important for children to hear a model of good fluency, it is also important to draw back the curtain at times to show them the thinking that is going on behind the reading. Done in moderation, this kind of modeling is a simple but important part of reading to a child. It is a powerful way to get children to see the thinking that goes on behind calling out the words.