Round robin reading - effective or evil?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Google "round robin reading" and all you'll read is how bad it is, how it does more harm than good, and how children should never read this way in the classroom. I know that when I was in elementary, this is what we did. Somehow, I learned to read quite well - thank you very much. ;) I do use round robin reading or popcorn reading in my guided reading groups at times. There are times I what to focus on a higher level concept like characterization or theme and the books they can read at their own level are just not rich enough to really use. So, I'll use a higher level text and we'll read it aloud - round robin style - with me assisting the students with decoding when needed.

    Is this wrong? Am I doing them more harm than good? Should I only stick to texts at their level? Or, is there a better way to delve into higher level concepts?

    So what do you think of round robin reading?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I don't like round robin reading because I find it hard to make sure everyone stays reading. I have a lot who will look around the room or not pay attention because its not their turn, then when called on they don't know where we are. They also have comprehension issues because they obviously didn't read the whole story or passage.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I do round robin reading. My kids love it and it gives time for my students who like to read out loud a chance to perform. I don't require children who are uncomfortable to participate, but I do keep an eye on them to make sure they are following along.
     
  5. live

    live Companion

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    Especially for more difficult texts, I tend to use chorale reading or have all students say the last word of the sentence/passage (depending on the length and purpose). Or I will read the text aloud and hold them accountable for following along. There is always some kind of follow-up activity to do that. When students do read aloud, it is typically to one other classmate or adult, but rarely to the whole class or even small group.

    I did a lot of round robin reading while I was in elementary school, and I'm certainly not damaged. However, it'd be difficult to keep all of my students engaged with the text using it. During small groups we're usually working on a skill/activity where round robin wouldn't really make sense.
     
  6. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    effective
     
  7. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    My experience with this: I don't make anyone read out loud, but I do give everyone the chance to if they want. I also make a point to give everyone some sort of task, such as asking them to verbally summarize a paragraph, explain a text feature, make a prediction, help fill out a graphic organizer.

    I always have the text on the smart board. I point to the paragraph as we go. Students may follow along with their own book or on the board. I model effective reading strategies when it's my turn to read, and I have the students stop and summarize, etc. I read a paragraph, then let them volunteer to read the next paragraph. I praise them for pausing at commas, using correct tone/expression in their voice, we discuss text features, stop to make sure we understand what we just read. It seems effective for us. We don't do this EVERY time we have a reading passage, though.

    My students do very well on the reading section of their state tests. I know tests don't always accurately reflect student learning, but it does seem like my students have a good grasp of several reading comprehension skills.
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I've always heard evil.

    If I do "round robin reading" I only take volunteers.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Funny, my kids are always clamoring to read first and complain if they read less than the others.

    I'm always hearing that round robin is inappropriate for learning because reading aloud is not how we read in everyday life. We read silently. But how can I gauge fluency, the ability to read with expression, and the listening skills of the rest of the group if they're always reading silently?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not a fan of round robin or popcorn....I'd rather read and model strategies as I do so, or have kids either read silently or partner read and engage in accountable talk.:2cents:
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Fluency/ expression:assess in individual reading conferences
    Listening skills: assess note taking when you teach/others present, accountable talk, critical questions...
     
  12. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't use round robin reading very often, but I AM very deliberate in who reads my morning message, etc. My kids read out loud about one a week, seldom more than a paragraph, and it's always chosen so that it's readable for them.
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I use it sometimes, but in small groups only. My groups are leveled so the kids in each group have roughly the same fluency rate, which pretty much eliminates the problem of kids feeling put "on the spot" and uncomfortable reading in front of much more fluent readers. My first graders actually love taking turns reading out loud.

    When we read something whole group, we choral read or I read out loud.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I vote evil--boring and not effective.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I took a Spanish class in college where my professor made us round robin read. Since I was obviously less confident about reading the text in Spanish out loud, I was totally the student who would count to see which paragraph was mine and practice it while I was waiting for my turn- meaning I wasn't paying attention to anything else. Ever since then I have not used round robin reading. When reading a new book with my groups I do some modeling, choral read some, have students choral read without my voice, have them turn and read to the person next to them, call on some volunteers to read a paragraph, and have students read pages to themselves (read pg. 9 and be ready to tell me __________). Even my lowest readers are usually clamoring to read out loud, so I'm not necessarily worried about embarrassing anyone (which is why I was taught that round robin reading is "evil")...I just think it's not the most engaging way to read something.
     
  16. HorseLover

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    With the choral reading, what do you do if not all students participate? I'm having this problem when I use it in small groups
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I say, "I don't hear everyone reading. We'll start back up at the top so that everyone can join us."
     
  18. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I don't do round robin reading, and at my school, it's not possible anyways. I read to them with them either listening or if they have a copy, following along. Sometimes I'll stop and they will finish the word or sentence.

    Like Czacza, I read to them to model strategies, ask questions, have them share what happened so far and what they predict will happen, etc. I find this much more efficient use of time. Kids have opportunities to read to the class when they share their history narratives.
     
  19. JustMe

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    I think it's important for students to have great reading modeled. It's rare I use round robin or popcorn reading but there have been circumstances where it works.

    As a student, nothing was worse than the s l o w e s t student volunteering to read every darn time. Come on. Like I absorbed anything.
     
  20. stargirl

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    I use it occasionally, just to switch things up. Like others have mentioned, I mostly use choral reading/partner reading, but sometimes round robin is more efficient or just a different way to get through a text. I find that since we don't do it that often, the kids really enjoy it and are disappointed if they don't get a chance to read aloud. I don't have a problem with the kids keeping the place, since I always make sure to tie my positive reinforcement in with it. Most of my students are slower readers, but I don't make anyone sit and sweat it out over a difficult word while everybody waits; I provide the word and we move on.
    Yes, when I was in college we were always told it was "evil" but we were told the same exact thing about teaching phonics, so I take those sort of philosophies with a grain of salt. Everything in moderation, and you have to know what works with your students.
     
  21. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    I have used it in the past with small groups and it has been effective. I think it is important that the kids actually hear each other read - the good and the "not so good" - as long as there's no pressure on the lower ones.

    When handled properly by the teacher, it allows the slower children to hear some good reading by their peers, and the better readers learn that reading definitely does not come easy for some of their classmates.

    With whole group I used choral reading a lot, with everyone contributing what they could. My requirement for the slower readers was not so much that they verbalize, but that they follow along with their finger (1st-2nd grade) which gave me an idea as I circled around which ones were having the most difficulty.

    I always made it a point to tell the kids that it was OK if they lost their place as long as they raised a hand for me to point out the spot or a neighbor would lean over and help out.
     
  22. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We had to do it a training I attended recently-it was really unbearable. I definitely was not really paying attention unless it was my table reading.
     
  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    How do you do choral reading with a 4th grade text of 34 students? Is this really effective? Do you only choral read like 1 paragraph or many? How does this work?
     
  24. kab164

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    It's not evil. That's a strong word. If you don't call on students in a set order, they do attend better. Mix it up, girls read a paragraph, then boys, Jack's section, everyone together. I read with a child who is shy or hesitant or make sure they aren't reading alone. I also read a page together first, then have a student re-read it. I often have the students read silently first, then we read aloud. May not be perfect but sometimes you need to do it.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    While not 'evil', research suggests that round robin/popcorn reading are not the most effective of teaching strategies. The research suggests:

    • It slows down reading rates.
    • It lowers the quantity of reading students do. (Research estimates that students actually read between two to six minutes in a typical round robin reading session. Any way you slice it, it’s not much.)
    • It is ineffectual at improving reading comprehension. When reading aloud, pronunciation is emphasized over meaning. In turn, text is often read slowly and disfluently which interferes with meaning making.
    • It is detrimental to fluency because children are often asked to read texts that are too difficult which leads to choppy models of what reading sounds like.

    There are other, more effective strategies we have in our arsenal to develop fluency and comprehension.:2cents:
     
  26. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I like echo reading, choral reading, whisper reading, or partner reading. I do use round robin reading sometimes, but nearly always switch to another of the aforementioned strategies after a little while when I remember how much I don't like it. Like others have mentioned, the actual time spent reading is much higher for the other methods. Especially for the sloooow, non-fluent readers - what is listening to that reading doing for the other kids? It is not modeling fluent reading, and often the errors, speed, and lack of tone differentiation make it difficult to comprehend.

    As a kid and as an adult, I don't think I've ever really paid attention to another person reading aloud in a round robin activity. It's usually just easier to read it on my own.
     
  27. ScienceEd

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    wow, this is an interesting thread. I have never heard that popcorn reading or round robin reading was a bad thing.

    I teach high school science. so I'm not as interested in teaching students how to read, as I am having them understand the material being read.

    I have to admit I use popcorn reading quite a bit in my classroom because I don't like reading outloud myself. Also English is not my first language and I've had some students complain that they find it hard to understand what I say. Therefore, I thought it would help them to hear one of their peers reading the information.

    We normally stop and discuss the information. Expanding upon the main points and key vocabulary.

    I don't think you should make it so that students can 'predict" which line is theirs. That way they can't "count ahead" and practice. Instead I would either randomly call students (via names on popsicle sticks) to either read or answer a question concerning the reading, or have one volunteer start and choose another student to continue until everyone gets a turn or we finish the text.

    I find it more effective than me reading all the time and it allows me to walk around the room and quietly talk to the students not paying attention.
     
  28. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Sometimes when we have a chunk of reading to get through in our social studies workbook, I'll give the desk groups a choice-they can read out loud to each other or all read silently. Each desk group makes their own choice as long as they get through the reading.

    I also use a variation on popcorn occasionally with Time for Kids. We have a microphone system in the room so I'll randomly choose students to read a paragraph into the microphone as we read articles. They all want to do it because their voice is booming, and the volume/anticipation of using the microphone keeps the other students engaged. It does not last long, however-I try to keep those sessions quick.
     
  29. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I don't use it. I don't see any effective purposes for using it in my classroom.

    I hated it when I was in school. I was an above average reader and couldn't stand listening to my classmates struggle through a paragraph I could read and comprehend in a quarter of the time. I usually read ahead and therefore probably paid little or no attention to what was going on. I can only imagine how my struggling classmates felt about having to read out loud to the class.
     
  30. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Just for clarification, I only do reading in small, leveled groups. So, no high readers are sitting around bored while low readers struggle. My groups are no more than 4 kids so if we are doing round robin reading, they're not waiting long for their turn.
     
  31. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I would use round robin reading with my Tier III RtI kids (normally a group of 5ish kids). Additionally, though, I'd use echo reading, choral reading, partner reading, etc.

    I rarely (if ever) used round robin reading with my entire class.

    My overall goal was to model, model, model (making inferences, asking questions, reading fluently and with expression, etc).
     
  32. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    :thumb:

    I echo read and choral read in small groups. I feel it is more engaging. The ones who are not in my group are reading independently, with a partner, or doing word work. These literacy tasks assure that everyone is working on important literacy skills and are engaged. To assess, I confer with students as they read to me on a one-on-one basis. I confer with two students a day (I work with two small reading groups and confer with two students daily). It allows me to determine future needed instruction, advise them right then and there on different reading strategies they can use to be successful, and determine their reading level.
     
  33. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I might do it for the first few pages in a guided reading group just to get them started but after that they read independently. I was thinking of it in a whole class lesson though.
     
  34. queenie

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    I don't use round robin reading because the kids only pay attention until it's their turn to read. I do popcorn reading, which is similar, but the kids have to pay attention and follow along because they don't know when/if I'll call on them to read. I use this in small groups and I think it's very effective. My principal told me that the kids should be whisper reading with me listening specifically to one child each day. I cannot do this. It's SO difficult! For one thing, for me to be able to hear a child read s/he must be reading louder than a whisper. Also, when a bunch of kids are reading loudly enough for me to hear them, they are obviously distracting one another or racing to finish first. I think it's so much more helpful for students to read aloud because I can hear them clearly, help them decode words, and commend them for using good strategies (like self correction, using context clues, chunking, etc.). Also, ALL the students in the group benefit from the teaching the child reading gets. I do find that it's CRUCIAL to set the stage for out loud reading, though, so that kids know they are not to help someone with reading and that they understand that we all are reading on different levels at different paces. I make sure that no child feels uncomfortable reading out loud or feels threatened in any way due to inability, etc. With whole group I like to read aloud and have the class fill in a word when I stop, or have girls read a paragraph, then even numbers read, then everyone with blue eyes, etc. Sometimes I read and then tap a child lightly on the head when I want him/her to take a turn. We also partner read at least once a week.
     

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