Alternatives to Round Robin Reading
Friends, one of the most visceral memories I have from my childhood is quaking in my seat waiting to read out loud in my eighth grade English class. Remarkably, round robin reading - the process of having kids go around and read out loud one at a time - is used constantly in classrooms every day. It's happening in my son's classroom. I've used it as a teacher before, too. However, on a gut level I know that it is fairly worthless. The aha! moment I had when I read this excellent article by Todd Finley is that is equally bad for both good readers and poor readers and reluctant readers. So who are we doing it for? It is hard to say. As a really good reader, I hated reading out loud anyway because I wanted to do it perfectly and I was shy. I would be surprised if anyone in the class was actually paying attention to what was happening in the story during student read aloud time. Finley's article gives great alternatives to round robin. I hope you will read it and think about how you could apply the strategies to reading at home. Echo reading, where you read and then they read the same thing, is easy to do. Shared reading where you read together is really helpful, too. Above all, remember that you reading aloud to your child, with all of your great fluency and expression and pronunciation, has been shown to be just as beneficial as your child practicing reading on their own.