The Best Tips for How to do Interactive Read Alouds

Interactive Read Alouds are my jam!  I have spent many, many hours reading about them, improving my own and creating resources to help you do them in your classroom.  One might say I'm an Interactive Read Aloud Specialist. ☺️  This year, if you have subscribed to my newsletter I have been sharing all of my tips for getting started with Read Alouds in your classroom.   Here I have compiled all of them into a quick and easy list for you.

As I said earlier, I have done a lot of research on Interactive Read Alouds and also have several blog posts about them as well.  You can click >>HERE<< to see the ULTIMATE blog post about Read Alouds.

You can click >>HERE<< if you want to sign up for my Newsletter and get more tips, resources, and exclusive Freebies.
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Ultimately an Interactive Read Aloud is when you gather your class or a group of students to a central location, like the rug and read a book to the students.  This book should be at their listening level and your job is to think aloud during the reading while also stopping and having your students interact with the book.  This can be turn and talks, act it outs, stop and jot/draw or class polls and discussions.  The main purpose of this read aloud is to support their comprehension.  They're listening to a fluent reader while also being taught how to think about and comprehend a book.

Here are my tips for how to make them the BEST for your students.  Some of these may be repeats from other blog posts, just know that this means they are super important. 😊


1.   PICK BOOKS YOU LOVE

My number one and most important tip is to pick books that you love.  I am always asked what's a good book for this or that? I always give suggestions, but I also always suggest using a book you love. 
So many times, teachers are trying to find the perfect book to teach a specific skill.  They have searched Pinterest for hours (#amiright, oh just me? 🙃) and found a great book, but they have no connection to it.  When you read it, your students will feel the lack of love for the book.  If you use books you love, your students are going to feel the love as you read and be even more engaged and interactive. 
The best thing we can do for our students is show them a love of reading and that starts with using books we know and love ourselves.
You can check out some of my favorite books >>HERE<< or by clicking the picture below.  

2. START READING ALOUD TODAY

Today is a great day to start reading aloud to your students.  
I often hear that teachers are nervous to start reading aloud because it won't be perfect, they don't have the stopping points and questions ready, their students don't have partners, etc... Whatever it is that's holding you back, don't let it. START TODAY!
If you're new to read alouds or not, don't get caught up in all the extra stuff to make it interactive or as purposeful as you may want.  Just start reading!  Pick one of your favorite books, take 10-15 minutes and read.  Read with enthusiasm, read with expression and read with love.  That's what your students want and need.  The rest will come. 

3. PUT IT INTO YOUR SCHEDULE

Yep, you read that right.  Schedule your read aloud time into your day.  If you're anything like me when I first started, I would have my book ready to go and would just plan to squeeze it in sometime during the day.  Well, we all know what happens when we plan to squeeze something in.  IT NEVER HAPPENS. Everything else seemed more important (even though it wasn't) and it never got done.  
Once I actually put it into my schedule I was way more likely to do it.  I couldn't just skip a whole activity that I wrote into my planner.  (I'm totally type A like that.) 
The latest research out of Teacher College-Reading & Writing Project is that you should be doing read alouds every day.  It's not just reading our favorite chapter books either.  It's about creating interactive and engaging read alouds that help our students grow as readers.  
Yep, I said it, EVERY DAY!  Now, I know that's not always possible, but especially for kinder and first graders, read aloud time is VITAL in their reading development. 
Interested in how I fit it in my daily schedule?  Check out >>THIS<< blog post or click on the image to the right.

4. PLAN FOR YOUR READ ALOUD

If you do only one tip that I've shared so far, THIS IS IT!!  Planning for your interactive read aloud is probably the most important thing you can do.  
Planning for your IRAs means you have put thought into what you want to teach, the vocabulary you want to focus on and the comprehension skills your students will learn.  
By doing this, your students are going to get so much more out of your read aloud and you'll actually know what's going on and what your teaching as you read. 
I'm going to send you off now to >>THIS<< blog post to learn more. I go WAY into depth about how to plan IRAs in 5 easy steps.  This blog post is already long enough so click >>HERE<< or on the image above.   This blog post also includes a FREE IRA PLANNER so check it out! 

5. PREPARE YOUR BOOK


OK, you've read through the blog post above and you've got your IRA planned.  Now, what?!?!
It is time to prepare your book for your read aloud.  You've worked so hard to plan your read aloud, you don't want to forget everything you've planned to do so you have to put some things in your book so you don't forget.  
I've got 2 (!) things to help you with that today. 
The first is my FREE editable sticky note templates.  Click >>HERE<< to get this resource.  You can type right into the sticky notes and then print.  BAM!  All of your stopping points, vocabulary and comprehension questions are ready to be placed in your book on the correct page.  Easy Peasy!  (Want more help?  Check out >>THIS<< blog post.) 
The second thing I have for you is this blog post that will give you some other ways you can prepare for your read aloud.  Click >>HERE<< or on the image below to learn more. 
I've tried to just wing a read aloud after I've planned it and I get so into reading that I totally forget to stop and interact with the book.  By putting sticky notes or print & cut notes into the book, it serves as a little reminder.  Printing on sticky notes may just become one of your new favorite things.  It definitely is one of mine. 😍  
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So there you go!  This should get you started.  If you have other questions please email me at paigebessick@gmail.com. 

Also, make sure you've signed up to get >>THIS<< freebie.  It has even more tips and ideas for doing interactive read alouds.  Click >>HERE<< or on the image below. 
    







This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase.  This helps me continue writing this blog and providing you with teaching tips and ideas.  Thank you! 

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