The Power of Reading Aloud in Middle School Classrooms

(Education Week) Four years ago, after I accepted an offer to teach language arts to 8th graders, my teaching partner asked me to read up on a few novels that we would be reading aloud to our students throughout the year. I was a bit taken aback because I assumed we would be assigning readings and the students would complete them on their own. A parent subsequently questioned me on the validity of reading aloud with teenagers. Initially I was offended, but then I remembered back to my first year of teaching. I had wondered the same thing. I couldn’t imagine sitting in front of thirty 8th graders and with a book having them actually pay attention. But I’ll tell you what, when Ponyboy reads Johnny’s letter at the end of The Outsiders, you can hear a pin drop in my classroom. Stories bind us together. They come in many forms—movies, novels, biographies, short stories, graphic novels, cartoons—but they allow us to share and experience a journey together that would otherwise be impossible. Taking ten minutes a day to read to my students has become a cornerstone of my teaching. Read Article

Publication:      Education Week
Author:             Timothy Dolan
Publish Date:   3.22.2016