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What’s New With @ILAToday’s #ILAchat?

Kenneth Kunz
 | Jan 08, 2019

The Right to Read AloudJoin us on Thursday, January 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET, for our first #ILAchat of 2019 and the first Twitter chat in our series designed and calibrated to focus on examining best practices in literacy through the lens of social justice and equity.

Chat participants will have an opportunity to really dig into a specific literacy best practice and engage with experts in the field, ILA Professional Development (PD) committee members, and teachers from around the globe. Each chat will include voices from the field, invited Feature Teachers who will offer both additional insights into and practical tips around the topic and the focus on social justice and equity.

To kick off this #ILAchat series, ILA’s PD committee decided to explore the practice of reading aloud through a social justice and equity lens. According to ILA’s Literacy Glossary, a read-aloud is the practice of a teacher or a designated reader orally reading a text with large or small groups. By reading the text aloud, the reader is able to model proficient reading and language, and the text can be a springboard to promote conversation, motivate, and extend comprehension and conceptual understandings.

Through the process of reading aloud, teachers have a genuine opportunity to engage students, select texts on the basis of students’ diverse interests, think aloud to scaffold and model strategies, and apply skills with more complex reading material. Whereas oral traditions often involve storytelling passed down from one generation to the next, the read-aloud provides that next-level experience, where written print and text capture the reader.

In ILA’s recent literacy leadership brief detailing the power and promise of read-alouds, the brief’s author, Molly Ness, asserts that “reading aloud is undoubtedly one of the most important instructional activities to help children develop the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to become better readers.” Drawing from years of reading research, the brief goes on to state that this practice should not be limited to just early childhood and elementary classrooms because students in the upper grades and content area classrooms continue to benefit from being read aloud to.

Building on Rudine Sims Bishop’s conceptual understanding of literature serving as mirrors, windows, and doors (metaphors discussed in more detail in ILA’s Characteristics of Culturally Sustaining and Academically Rigorous Classrooms), this Thursday’s #ILAchat will explore ways in which teachers can intentionally choose read-alouds as a way of broadening students’ perspectives and cultural experiences. We are interested in gleaning ideas from teachers about true equity: not just knowing that all students experience a daily read-aloud, but that they experience daily read-alouds that are a call to action for social change.

We hope that you join us this Thursday, January 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET with your questions, ideas, and recommendations for quality read-aloud materials. Through this chat, we hope to elevate the voices of teachers, librarians, and all educators who are successfully incorporating this practice.

For more information about the Twitter chat series, or to provide feedback related to desired chat topics, reach out to @ILAToday or to any of ILA’s PD committee!

We look forward to connecting with you on Twitter!

Your Literacy Friends on the ILA PD Committee,

Kenneth Kunz

Juli-Anne Benjamin

Susan Paasch

Nancy Gannon

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