Quick reading reminder

I was reminded yesterday about the importance of the distinction between reading out loud and reading silently.  The way we think we know how kids’ reading is progressing is by listening as they read out loud.  Reading out loud is a performance, though.  It calls upon not only the cognitive processes required to absorb meaning from text (reading) but those required to speak the text fluently.  It’s an extra job to have when kids are already doing a job that’s new and sometimes challenging for them.

What it sounds like when they’re reading out loud can’t necessarily give us any kind of accurate idea of what happens when they’re reading to themselves.  I’ve met too many kids who think they’re not good readers because they’re not great at the presentation of what they’re reading – the out loud part.  Reading out loud is reading plus presentation.  Reading to yourself is reading.