We know it’s not considered best practice. But do we know of colleagues who still engage in round robin reading? If so, are we willing to “stage an intervention” that will discourage them from clinging to a practice that needs to be put to rest, once and for all? I’ve been coaching a few teachers lately on some ways to avoid the round-robin reading trap:
• 3, 2, 1…switch! Have students pair up. The partners decide who is Partner A and who is Partner B. Give the assigned pages for reading, and explain to the class they will be taking turns reading aloud to each other. Tell them that you will let them know when it is time to switch by saying, “3, 2, 1…switch!” Start a timer for yourself to help you keep track of time (any time from 2-4 minutes is appropriate). When the timer goes off, loudly say, “3, 2, 1…switch to Partner B!” Reset the timer and start all over again. Rinse and repeat until all partners are done with the reading.
• I Summarize, You Summarize. Have students pair up. The partners decide who is Partner A and who is Partner B. Give the assigned pages for reading, and explain to the class they will be taking turns reading aloud to each other. They are each responsible for a page of reading at a time. When the reading-aloud partner completes a page, the following-along partner must give a one-sentence summary of the page. The reading-aloud partner must repeat what the following-along partner has said, and may add any details that he/she thinks were left out. Then Partner B reads the next page aloud, with Partner A giving the one-sentence summary of the next page and Partner B providing the restatement with additional details. This pattern is continued by the partners until the chapter is completed.
More tips to follow in future posts. I challenge you to try one of these ideas during the next week, when your students have a chapter to read in the class novel.
AL A CARTE (10/4/2013)
Read-Alouds, Recreational Reading and Round Robin – Check out this article from Reading Today. Its author, Maureen Mclaughlin, is IRA’s current president and a very engaging speaker about middle level reading issues.
Readworks.org – This website has 1000s of nonfiction and literary passages, free for printing and reproducing for your classroom. The articles are organized by grade level readability, so it makes it easy to determine which articles best meet the needs of your Skills, Elements or Ideas students. Articles come with open-ended question sets.
Books About Bullying – Thought of those of you who had a bullying presentation in your building this week. This blog shares a list of criteria for selecting books about bullying that encourage readers toward empathy and compassion. The author’s stories may be a bit juvenile for our readers, but the criteria are appropriate for selecting titles for any age group.
The Downside of Close Reading? – Interesting perspective on close reading overkill. Just a perspective to keep in mind…close reading could become the next educational buzz word.