Looking for ways to effectively provide oral reading opportunities for all your students? Maybe one of these alternatives will do the trick!
Round Robin Reading – where students take turns reading aloud from the same text- has been a common literacy strategy for years. With the implementation of the Idaho Core Standards, students are being asked to access more and more complex text on their own and Round Robin Reading may be doing more harm than good as teachers and students try to build reading stamina and comprehension skills.
Current reading research by Rasinski and others has shown that students in classrooms where Round Robin Reading is used actually read less than students in classrooms where alternative reading methods are in place. In addition, the amount of time consumed by oral whole-group reading takes away from valuable classroom minutes that could be spent on instruction. Round Robin Reading methods have also been shown to increase student anxiety and lead to inattentive behaviors. Students who make mistakes while reading aloud are also often denied the opportunity to self-correct their mistakes and begin to rely on others to correct their errors.
So what are some alternative reading strategies?
Rasinski’s book “Good-Bye Round Robin” provides 25 effective oral reading strategies to help build students’ reading skills and stamina. Perhaps one of these methods could work in your classroom:
Differentiated Text – Provide students with multiple texts that cover the same topic and allow students to then self-select the text they’d like to read. In most cases, middle and high-school students will choose selections that are at their own reading levels. Allow students to read independently and then compare and contrast the texts.
Shared Partner Reading – Match low and high readers together to orally navigate text. Each student can take turns being either the “coach” or the “reader.” Students support each other while reading new material.
Jigsaw Reading – This strategy works well in content area classrooms with text that is broken up into easily digestible sections. Students meet in their “role alike” small group to read and comprehend their portion of the larger text and then return to their primary group to share what they’ve read. This builds reading, speaking, and listening skills.
Independent Close Reading Strategies – Try providing structure with a graphic organizer while students are independently reading. Most reading is done silently and it is necessary for students to build comprehension skills that are not dependent on their peers. Tools such as highlighters, Post-It Notes, and note cards help students monitor their own reading.