Engaging 21st Century Learners through Interactive Read Alouds and Grand Conversations Research: Based on the NC school report card, North Carolina students are 56% proficient in reading. Therefore, according to research, interactive read alouds are beneficial to students’ reading comprehension and can help support struggling readers. During an interactive read aloud, the teacher models how and when to use certain reading strategies. The teacher also pauses to allow students to discuss and write about what is happening in the story, answer questions, and make predictions. By interacting with the text, students are engaged in reading. The focus is on understanding and comprehending the text rather than decoding words. This allows students to take what they’ve practiced during the read aloud and transfer it to their independent reading. Aligning with the Common Core: SL.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners. SL.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood. *Other standards may align depending on the skill and/or content focus. 9.1 21st Century Life Skills: All students will demonstrate creative, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving skills to function successfully as global citizens and workers in diverse ethnic and organizational cultures. Resources: http://goo.gl/sg3maZ Presenters- UNCC Graduate Students in Reading Education: Jennifer Huber, 3rd Grade Teacher Natasha Calderon, Kindergarten Teacher Dayna Ryan, 2nd Grade Teacher Faith Dibble, 3rd grade teacher Stephanie Rice, 10th Grade AP World History Teacher Process: 1. Preparation: Select a text that can elicit higher-level questioning. A variety of texts should be used throughout the school year. After choosing a book, read it to become familiar with the text. Reread it and identify the words that may be new for your students. Also find the critical points in the story to model your own thinking and question students. Write out your thoughts and questions on sticky notes and label them as “Think Aloud” if you are modeling a strategy, “Turn and Talk” if students are to discuss, or “Stop and Jot” if students are to write a response. Place the sticky notes throughout the book for reference during reading. 2. Before Reading: With the students gathered around, preview the book. Read the title of the book aloud and show students the pictures in the text. Then have students predict what the story will be about to help them activate their prior knowledge. Introduce the new vocabulary as “words you’ll meet.” 3. During Reading: While reading the book aloud, pause several times to think aloud, have students turn and talk, and have students stop and jot responses. 4. After Reading: Engage students in a grand conversation, a student-led discussion of the text.