RATA (Read Aloud Think Loud) The following bullet points describe the purpose of using RATA as well as some points to consider when implementing. RATA is a strategy that allows a teacher using it to model the thought processes and strategies involved when reading. RATA allows students to hear and see what good readers do and think when they encounter text. RATA allows students to hear and see the application of different reading strategies connected to specific texts or portions of texts. During RATA, the teacher reads aloud a short text or portion of text. The teacher also shares aloud the thoughts, questions, connections, and/or other reading strategies used during the reading. Points to Consider It is helpful to display the text example used during RATA on an overhead projector. This allows the teacher to mark questions, important ideas or details, and/or sketch pictures or figures that help make meaning from the text. The student can then see the connection between what the reader is thinking aloud and the direct text connections. It is also helpful to provide the students with a copy of the text example used during RATA. This allows the student to copy down the markings that the teacher makes during RATA. This provides the student with the opportunity to see, hear, and write the connections between what the reader is thinking aloud and the direct text connections. After adequate teacher modeling, students can begin to practice doing RATA. Allowing students to practice RATA provides them with the opportunity to think about their metacognitive processes during reading as well practice good reading strategies. Allowing students to practice RATA also provides the teacher an opportunity to assess student progress with good reading habits, possible misconceptions about text and/or text concepts, as well success levels with vocabulary within the text. Habits of a Good Reader The following bullet points describe different habits good readers use when reading. Making Connections: As readers encounter texts, they frequently make connections between that text and previous experiences (background knowledge/schema). Text to Text (T:T) Connections - The text may remind readers of something they have read, heard, or seen in another text, be it a written, video or audio version of text. Text to Self (T:S) Connections – The text may remind readers of something they have previously experienced in their own life. This kind of connection might include characters, settings, events, or ideas and topics that are similar to people, places, events, etc. within the reader’s life. Text to World (T:W) Connections – The text may remind readers of something they have noticed or experienced in the world such as themes and messages, events, settings, etc. Visualizing: As readers encounter texts, they frequently form mental images or pictures about what they are reading. They may visualize characters, settings, events, or things being discussed in the text. This strategy helps students to connect their previous experience (background knowledge/schema) to new information as well as form a context for this new information. Visualizing is like creating a “movie” in your mind as you read a text. Questioning: As readers encounter texts, they frequently formulate questions about what they are reading. They may ask questions about characters, their motivations, reactions, etc., settings, events and/or topics discussed within the text. These questions cause readers to re-read text or give the reader a purpose for further reading. Some questions may not have an answer explicitly located within the text. These kinds of questions cause readers to make inferences, determine importance, and synthesize. Questions readers ask do not always have a specific right or wrong answer, but they encourage further thought about the text read. Predicting: As readers encounter texts, they frequently make predictions about upcoming events, outcomes, or statements in the text. When making predictions, readers use clues/information found within the text and their own previous experiences (background knowledge/schema). Predictions create anticipation and give readers purpose for further reading. Inferring: Inferring is reading between the lines of the written text. As readers encounter texts, they frequently draw conclusions and make generalizations about the text they are reading. Although inferences are not explicitly stated within the text, they can be supported with specific evidence from the text. Readers use clues/information from the text and their own previous experiences (background knowledge/schema) to make inferences. Good readers interact with the text creating meaning from the information the author provides in the text and the information they bring to the text. Determining Importance: Determining importance is identifying the essence of a text. As readers encounter texts, they frequently must decide which terms, topics, ideas, or plot elements that are the most important to the overall text. Determining importance helps a reader synthesize the information presented within a text and to make decisions as to what parts of a text deserve the most attention. Synthesizing: Synthesizing is the most complex of the comprehension strategies. As readers encounter texts, they frequently they make sense or meaning of the text by connecting their own previous experiences (background knowledge/schema) to new information within the text. This process of assimilation forms a new or more complete idea. Synthesis occurs when a reader creates a new perspective based on their reading. Synthesizing goes beyond organizing and summarizing to create new ideas or achieve new insights. Synthesis is a reader’s “a-ha” moment. Examples of RATA Science I. Text example Example from EarthComm by Smith and Southard, It’s About Time, 2002. Geographic features, like mountain ranges, lakes, and oceans, affect the climate of a region. Mountains can have a dramatic effect on precipitation in nearby areas. The windward side of a mountain chain often receives much more rainfall than the leeward side. As wind approaches the mountains, it is forced upwards. When the air rises, it cools, and water vapor condenses into clouds which produce precipitation. Conversely, the leeward side of a mountain range is in what is called a rain shadow. It often receives very little rain. That is because the air has already lost much of its moisture on the windward side. II. RATA Teacher says: “Example from Earth Comm by Smith and Southard, It’s About Time, 2002. Earth Comm. That sounds like a text book. I can make a text to text connection there.” (Teacher underlines Earth Comm) “I am probably going to need to really focus and maybe re-read some sections to make sure that I get all of the important information.” Teacher says: “Geographic features, like mountain ranges, lakes, and oceans, affect the climate of a region. Hmm. Geographic features (teacher underlines geographic features) The prefix geo reminds me of geography and geology. I believe that geo must mean earth. Features are like characteristics of someone’s face, so I am going to infer that geographic features have to do with characteristics of the earth’s face or surface. Mountains and lakes and oceans are certainly characteristics of the earth’s face or surface. The text says these features actually affect, which means to impact or maybe even change, a region’s climate. (Teacher circles climate) I have heard the word climate in social studies and on the weather channel. I am making a text to self connection there. I wonder if climate has to do with weather. (Teacher writes a questions mark over the word climate)” Teacher says: Mountains can have a dramatic effect on precipitation in nearby areas. (Teacher underlines dramatic and draws a line between the root, drama and the suffix, tic) I know the root word drama has to do with a play or acting out. I have heard my students use the word drama when referring to a situation that is over-emphasized. You can really see it or hear it. Dramatic must mean something that can really be seen or felt. That’s another text to self connection. (Teacher underlines precipitation) I have also heard the word precipitation in social studies and the on the weather channel. I am not sure what it means. I better mark it with a question mark to remind myself to try and determine the meaning as I read.” Teacher says: “The windward side of a mountain chain often receives much more rainfall than the leeward side. Let’s see, windward is in bold print, so that means I can determine this is probably important. (Teacher underlines windward) I am not sure what windward or leeward means. Let me look at the root wards and suffixes. (Teacher draws a line between wind and ward. Teacher than draws a shape that looks like a mountain and an arrow pointing to the left side of the mountain. Teacher writes the word wind over the arrow) I know what wind is. I have seen ward in words like toward and forward. Both of these words have to do with direction. I am going to infer that ward here has to do with direction. I am going to go on and further infer that windward has to do with the direction the wind is traveling, probably as it approaches the mountain. Maybe, it is the side of the mountain that the wind hits first.” Teacher says: “So the windward side receives more rain. (Teacher underlines receives more rain)Teacher draws three to dour drops of rain above the word wind on the mountain sketch) As wind approaches the mountains, it is forced upwards. (Teacher draws an arrow that now points up the side of the mountain in the sketch) When the air rises, it cools, and water vapor condenses into clouds which produce precipitation. (Teacher draws a cloud at the top left hand corner of the mountain sketch) Water vapor condenses into clouds which produce precipitation. I wonder if precipitation means rain. Water that comes from clouds is often called rain.” Teacher says: “Conversely, the leeward side of a mountain range is in what is called a rain shadow. It often receives very little rain. Conversely is not a word I familiar with. Now the word leeward is in bold print. (Teacher underlines leeward) That bold print helps me determine that leeward is an important term, too. Earlier, I inferred that the ward had to do with direction. I can’t connect lee to other words that I know. Looking at my sketch I see I labeled the left hand side of the mountain as the windward side. Does that mean that the other side is the leeward side (Teacher writes leeward on the right hand side of the mountain sketch) I am going to infer that leeward means the opposite of the windward side of the mountain. Does that mean that the word conversely has to do with opposite? I am going to infer that conversely means that conversely here means as opposed to or different than. That word shows us that windward and leeward are on opposite sides of the mountain or they are directly opposite or different than each other. (Teacher underlines conversely and puts a question mark over the word).” Teacher says: “The leeward side of a mountain range is in what is called a rain shadow. It often receives very little rain. (Teacher underlines the words rain shadow and receives very little rain) The bold print at rain shadow helps me determine this term is important. (Teacher draws one or two drops of rain on the right hand side of the mountain sketch) This side doesn’t get as much rain. The text said that as air rises on the windward side, it cools and forms clouds which produce precipitation. It also says that is because the air has already lost much of its moisture on the windward side. Looking at my sketch and the text I can determine a few things. The text says that the windward side receives more rain than the leeward side. It also says that clouds form on the windward side and these clouds produce precipitation. This helps me infer that precipitation does refer to rain. (Teacher points at the sentence that says mountains can have a dramatic effect on precipitation) Looking back at the sentence that says mountains can have a dramatic effect on precipitation I can do a few things. I understand that mountains can cause the wind to rise and release its moisture in the form of rain on one side of a mountain. I also understand that this mountain has caused the wind to lose most of its moisture so that the other side doesn’t get much rain. That helps me understand that mountains really can have a dramatic effect on the climate of a region.” ELA: I. Text Example: Example from Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, 1997. Migrants We’ll be back when the rain comes, they say, pulling away with all they own, straining the springs of their motor cars. Don’t forget us. And so they go, Fleeing the blowing dust, Fleeing the fields of brown-tipped wheat barely ankle high, and sparse as the hair on a dog’s belly. II. RATA Teacher says: “ Example from Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, 1997. Migrants (Teacher underlines the word Migrants) I have heard that word in social studies before and on the news. I am making a text to text and a text to world connection. It reminds me of the word immigrants and immigration. I know that the words immigrants and immigration have to do with people moving from one place to another. I think I have heard the term migrants used in connection with the word farmers. I wonder if migrant farmers are farmers who move from place to another.” Teachers says: “We’ll be back when the rain comes, they say. I wonder why they would say we will come back when the rain comes. (Teacher writes a question mark over the first line) Pulling away with all they own, straining the springs of their motor cars. I can infer that this must not be talking about a vacation because most people don’t wait until the rain comes to go there. The text says that they have everything they own in their cars. I wonder if the text is referring to migrant farmers. (Teacher draws an arrow connecting the word they in the second line to the word migrant in the title. Teacher then draws a question mark by the arrow) The title lets me know that the poem probably has to do with migrants and I am going to predict that migrant farmers move from place to place with their belongings in their car. I am still not sure about waiting for the rain, though. Looks like migrant farmers would not be able to work in the rain.” Teacher says: “Don’t forget us. (Teacher draws a question by the word us in the last line). I wonder what they mean by that statement. Who do they want to remember them? And so they go, fleeing the blowing dust, fleeing the fields of brown-tipped wheat. I know that to flee means to run away from, often in fear. Why would the migrant farmers run away in fear from the blowing dust and fields of brown-tipped wheat? (Teacher draws a question mark by the words flee)” Teacher says: “I like the way the author uses vivid verbs like blowing and descriptive adjectives like brown-tipped wheat. (Teacher underlines the words blowing and brown- tipped) That helps me to make connections to things that I have seen before. I can actually visualize dust blowing around in air and I can visualize the fields of wheat stalks with brown colored ends sticking up into the air. Look at the last two lines, barely ankle high and sparse as the hair on a dog’s belly. I can make text to self connections to fields of plants that have only grown as high as my ankle. Again, that connection helps me picture or visualize what that looks like. I can also make a text to self connection to the hair on a dog’s belly. All of the pet dogs liked to roll over on their back so that we could scratch their belly. I can visualize those dogs rolled over on their back with their feet in the air waiting for us to pet their belly. Their belly never had near as much hair as the rest of their body. I am going to infer then that the word sparse must mean not much. (Teacher underlines the word sparse. Teacher then writes sparse to the side and an equal sign followed by the words not much)” Teacher says: “Again, I ask myself why would migrant farmers run or flee from dust and not much wheat. Looking back at the first stanza I remember that the speaker or speakers of the poem say we’ll be back when the rain comes. (Teacher points to the first line of the poem) I can make text to world connection and say that wheat would need rain to grow higher than my ankle. If a field of wheat didn’t get enough rain then I suppose it would be sparse. Maybe, the migrant farmers are moving away from an area that is not getting enough rain. That is why the wheat is sparse. If that is true then the farmers wouldn’t really have anything to take care of or pick, which means they probably wouldn’t be making any money. I am going to infer that the migrant farmers are moving away from these wheat fields because there is not enough rain. I predict that they are going to another place to try and find work. The first line, we’ll be back when the rain returns helps me predict that maybe, the farmers will return to these fields if the rain returns.” Math I. Text Example: Example from Discovering Algebra by Murdock, Kamischke, and Kamischke, Key Curriculum Press, 2007. So far you have worked with linear equations in intercept form, y + a + bx. When you know a line’s slope and y- intercept, you can write its equation directly in intercept form. But what if you don’t know the y- intercept? One method that you might remember from your homework is to work backward with the slope until you find the y- intercept. But you can also use the slope formula to find the equation of a line when you know the slope of the line and the coordinates of only one point on the line. II. RATA Teacher says: “Example from Discovering Algebra by Murdock, Kamischke, and Kamischke, Key Curriculum Press, 2007. (Teacher underlines Discovering Algebra) That sounds like a text book. That means I am going to have really focus my attention and look for the important information. Usually, math text books include problems that I will be asked to solve. I better look for details about the problem as I read.” Teacher says: “So far you have worked with linear equations in intercept form, y+a+bx. (Teacher underlines linear and draws a line between the root word line and the suffix are). I recognize the root word line in this word. (Teacher draws a line over to the side) The word equations reminds me of word like equal and equality. That is a text to text connection, but I still have a question about what a linear equation really means. (Teacher writes a question mark over the words linear equation)” Teacher says: “When you know a line’s slope and y intercept you can write its equation directly in intercept form. (Teacher underlines intercept) I recognize the prefix inter. That prefix is also in words like intersection and interception. I know that an intersection is like when two roads cross. I also know that an interception can occur during a football game. The quarterback is here (teacher draws a dot) and he wants to throw the ball to a receiver here. (Teacher draws another dot up and to the left of the first dot. Teacher then draws a dashed line between the first and second dots) An interception occurs when another opposing player crosses between the quarterback and the receiver. He catches the ball before it gets to the receiver. (Teacher draws another dot to the lower right hand side of the quarterback. Teacher then draws a line that intersects the dashed line between the quarterback and the receiver. Teacher draws a dark dot at the point that the two lines cross) The opposing player intercepts the ball. I am going to infer that intercept form has to do with the point that two lines cross.” Teacher says: “I also can make a text to self connection with the word slope. I have been to a ski slope before. I know that slope refers to the hill that you would ski down. (Teacher traces the line that shows the interception highlighting the downward movement this time) This reminds me of another text to self connection. In math class before, I have seen a graph that looks like this figure. (Teacher draws in the x and y axis around the figure of the interception.
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