I have recently read this article about round robin reading in the classroom:
Many teachers have used oral reading to develop skills in reading classes and in other classes to get through text portion of particular lesson. In actuality what they may be doing inadvertently is destroying these students' self-esteem and tenacity for learning.
Oral reading is often done in a round robin type activity, and the students with the weaker reading skills can easily be spotted by the look of angst they have on their faces, while they are nervously awaiting their turn to read aloud. Because their skills are lacking they feel humiliation during the entire time they are responsible for the oral reading. The fact that classmates will taunt them because of their slow speed or constant mistakes is mortifying. Of course teachers train their pupils to not poke fun at these lower level readers, but the sighs and moans of rest of the class when the slow readers turn finally arrives can be deafening to the poor child. As a self defense mechanism most of these students will do almost anything to avoid having to read aloud to the class. They often will "suddenly" become ill, or they will have an overwhelming urge to go to the restroom. Some even misbehave so badly that the teacher will be forced to send them out of the room, and this will allow them to not have to risk the embarrassment of having lower level reading skills than their classmates. Soon, many students who lack strong reading skills and are still having to read orally to the class acquire such a deep anxiety for this activity that they quickly build up a wall to reading in general. For a few it is less painful to risk the punishment of refusing to read than it is to try only to fail in the eyes of their peers.
The educators are utilizing more and more small reading groups and creating interesting activities to help struggling readers gain improved reading skills. These approaches will help the child keep his dignity, too. The only time a teacher should actually use an oral reading program is when the class is ability grouped with students who have equal level reading skills. This method means that students will be less likely to taunt their classmate, and their anxiety level will not skyrocket, each and every time they must read. Teacher can use pairs for oral reading rather than whole class. This way the students still have the abilities developed by oral reading.
Any suggestions on how I should do it. I do not want to make my students to feel like that!! I have not been teaching long, so any suggestions would be helpful!
I understand and respect what you are trying to prevent, however I disagree with some of it. As long as we have sped kids mainstreamed and their mods state that we should read aloud or whatever, we must inconvenience the on level kids. This is but one reason why I am strongly against mainstreaming. Sped kids should be in a room where they and their like abilitied peers are not embarrassed by their disabilities.
I simply believe that this study does not take practicality and logistics into consideration. There is no way to provide individualized instruction to several diff rdg levels at the same time w/o using some form of round robin rdg.
This is just my humble opinion based on 10 years of experience with 5th and 6th graders.
How in-class reading should be done depends a lot on the purpose for reading and the level of the students. Here are some alternatives:
Teacher reads the text aloud as students follow along.
Teacher reads and gives a fill-in-the-blank hand signal when students read the next word. (keeps them attentive and can highlight key vocab)
Students popcorn read -- like round robin, except students say the name of another student who then reads. You set the rules for how much they read; I say they can read anywhere from a sentence to two paragraphs. Some teachers set the minimum at two words. I also let my students call on me to read.
Have students partner read, alternating pages or paragraphs.
Have students read silently, then discuss, calling on certain students (or the teacher) to reread important sections of the text aloud.
Choral reading -- everyone reads together.
Dialogue reading -- If there is dialogue, assign students or groups parts and have them read aloud. The teacher or a designated student/group can be the narrator.
Silent reading in chunks -- I do this often with social studies content. I have kids read to the next subheading (usually 3-4 paragraphs) and give me a thumbs up when their done. When most of the class is finished, we discuss, then continue with the next section.
Option -- I sometimes give students the option to sit with me on the carpet and read together or sit at their desk and read silently. You could also do this if you have an audio-text.
Overall, I am not a fan of round-robin reading, not just because of the self-esteem issue, but more because of the boredom issue. I've also read that round robin may cause tracking issues for readers who read faster silently and constantly have to go back. I understand the need to read aloud content texts that may be inaccessible for some readers, but I think most reading for reading/language arts should be done silently from at least 3rd grade on up. Just my opinion.
We are told to have our students only read aloud when in small groups. However, during small group time we are still not allowed to do Round Robin. Instead, they want us to have the students "whisper read" at their own pace. The teacher does not sit in their usual position, but moves around to each student listening to each individual read. I will admit that I have struggled with this method. It's certainly not as easy as sitting in your seat and listening to one student read at a time, but it's what my P wants us to do. They also suggest choral and echo reading.
I will say that when I was in school, I was a struggling reader. I didn't know until many years later I am dyslexic. I can truly relate to the feeling you described.
If you have a kidney table for small group reading instruction, the teacher can sit at their "usual place"; I do this all the time. My students read at their own pace; when I want one to read louder so I can listen in, I just tap the table in front of them. They know that is my signal for them to start reading aloud from wherever they are at. When I've heard enough, I say, "Thank you," and go on to someone else.
btw, I only had my kids whisper read when I taught first grade because they're still learning so much about decoding; 3rd grade and older, they read silently because they should be moving towards more adult behavior for reading and can also read much faster silently than orally.
I think maybe we are comparing two different things. Most of the above posts reference reading/lang arts instruction. I would agree that most rdg needs to be done at a student's personal rdg speed.
HOWEVER, when rdg other content area texts, it is impractical to expect all students to be able to read texts that are ALWAYS written above grade level. For example, my 6th graders have SS and Sci texts that are designed for all middle level grades 6-8. There is no way that a sped or below grade level student rdg on 2nd or 3rd grade level can read this material by himself.
luv2teachkids - You've given a lot of great strategies to use! Another idea for those who feel that oral reading must be done by all students--let the students who struggle know ahead of time what their section will be so that they have a chance to practice reading it before hand.
Sometimes I will go through and assign each child their own paragraph before we begin. I give them 2-3 minutes to whisper read the paragraph, and raise their hands and ask how to pronounce words they don't understand. This builds fluency and confidence. It takes a few more minutes at the start of the lesson, but because they know who's next and have already read the passage, the reading goes very smoothly and quickly. My students love it and so do I.
We don't do whole-class round robin reading in my school simply because it doesn't make sense to have all students reading from the same book when they're not all on the same reading level.
For example, in my fourth grade class right now I have students who read from a level J to a level U on F & P (so pretty much 2-5th grade reading levels) not counting a student who just came to the country and is a pre-A. It doesn't make sense for me to choose a book for all of the students to read at the same time. Even if the lower readers could actually read a higher level book they wouldn't be comprehending most of it. If I chose a book that they could comprehend it would be too easy for the higher students.
Instead we do "book clubs" 4-5 students who on about the same levels will read an appropriate book together. For the most part they read the books silently and discuss them together but sometimes we do round robin within the group, especially with the lower level groups and the students really enjoy it. I usually work with one or two lower groups a day (separately) and then it becomes somewhat of a guided reading activity.
We sometimes use textbooks in Social Studies and Science and do a little round robin reading, but I'm not as concerned with comprehension because we spend so much time discussing and taking notes on what was covered in the text.
We most often use a "three ring circus" method. Students may choose to read solo (most commonly chosen by the highs), read in partners, or in a small group with me (where most of my lows prefer). This seems to work really well.
We read our reading story through twice during the week. The first time through, I read or we listen to the CD, the 2nd day we read using 3 ring circus or partners. On occassion I will do round robin, but the students have heard the text before which helps eliminate some of the anxiety. If I know that I have a low reader I will tell them during silent reading what they will read so that they have time to practice and/or ask for help.
We also do a lot of reader's theater. I bought a Reader's Theater book that had leveled parts this year and it has been WONDERFUL! I believe I bought it through scholastic.
I'm with you---their are plenty of alternatives to putting everyone through the agony of forcing a student to read aloud when he/she is either emotionally or academically unable to do so with grace. To add to the strategies--I often use a parent volunteer to foster read aloud skills with the kiddos that don't do well reading in front of the class. Mission accomplished, lots of loving one-on-one, and everyone is happy. I do work with my adult volunteer(s) to be sure that they understand how to do the job.
There is a good book called Good-Bye Round Robin, written by Michael F. Opitz. It's an easy read, about 90 pages, and it gives great ideas for reading activities in place of round robin reading. I love this book and have gotten several of my elementary colleagues to switch from the round robin reading to more meaning acitivities.