E18 Read Alouds Using a Structural Layering Approach with Dr. Doris Baker and Dr. Lana Santoro


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Welcome to episode 18 of the teaching literacy podcast. Read alouds are a common practice in elementary classrooms, but do students benefit from this practice and how can teachers become better at implementing read alouds in their classroom?

My guests today have researched these and similar questions for over a decade. Their names are Dr. Doris Baker and Dr. Lana Santoro. In this episode we discuss a recent study they published in the journal Reading and Writing about at read aloud technique they completed with first graders. Dr. Baker is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Santoro is a Research Associate and Curriculum Developer with the Center on Teaching and Learning at the University of Oregon.

We have a great discussion about previous read aloud research, the elements of a good read aloud, what a structural layered approach is and what it looks like with read alouds, and finally ideas for how you can use structural layering read alouds in your classroom. In the show notes there are several resources you can check out to learn more about the read aloud work of Dr. Baker and Dr. Santoro.

This is a great is a discussion with lots of takeaways for your classroom. After the conversation make sure to stick around for my two cents.


Baker, D. L., Santoro, L., Biancarosa, G., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., & Otterstedt, J. (2020). Effects of a read aloud intervention on first grade student vocabulary, listening comprehension, and language proficiency. Reading and Writing. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-020-10060-2

Other Resources:

Read Aloud Curriculum Materials:

As discussed, materials from the Read Aloud instruction we discussed during the Podcast can be obtained from the following:

Practitioner Articles:

Web-based copy is available –

Santoro, L. E., Chard, D. C., Howard, L., Baker, S. K. (2008). Making the VERY most of read alouds to promote comprehension and vocabulary. Reading Teacher, 61(5), 396-408.

With a Council for Exceptional Children membership, the following 2 articles can be accessed for free . Learn more about CEC membership here.

Santoro, L. E., Baker, S. K., Fien, H., Smith, J., & Chard, D. (2016). Using read alouds to help struggling readers access and comprehend complex informational text. Teaching Exceptional Children, 48(6),282-292.

Baker, D. L., Santoro, L. E., Ware, S., Cuellar, D., Oldham, A., Cuticelli, M., Coyne, M. D., Loftus-Rattan, S., & McCoach, B. (2015). Understanding and implementing the common core vocabulary standards in kindergarten. Teaching Exceptional Children.

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