Teaching a 1st grader to read is a challenge for most parents and teachers. Here are some easy and fun filled plans to make the reading lessons interesting for kids.
13 Effective Alternatives to the Round Robin Reading Strategy
The Round Robin Reading strategy has been in the limelight for quite some time now, but for all the wrong reasons. There are ample researchers who don’t consider this mode of teaching and learning suitable to practice. Therefore, there are many who are looking up for its alternatives. EduZenith enlists some of easy-to-practice substitutes to this style.
A little goes a long way!
Regular practice can induce monotony among students. Hence, these alternatives to RRRS are to be practiced occasionally, so that boredom is kept at bay!
Ideally, reading should be a mode of understanding, and not just an oral exercise. The whole purpose of oral reading is to help children get a grasp of reading appropriately. Having said that, it should also be primary to make children read in order to understand the content of the chapter so that they develop familiarity with the concepts of the lesson. But as we often see, children, especially of lower classes, are made to read aloud in the class in the presence of the teacher and other students.
The most popular modes of oral reading is the Round Robin Reading Strategy (RRRS). In this practice, children are made to read independently, sections of the chapter in turns, impromptu, without prior practice. This perhaps is helpful in a way, because they can be taught to read correctly. But it helps little if the children don’t understand the chapter, and become phobic about this entire reading exercise. Therefore, today, we shall take a look at some of the potent alternatives to the practice of Round Robin Reading.
Alternatives To Round Robin Reading
Silent Reading Followed by Reading Aloud
Reading silently in the mind helps many to focus and concentrate more. This helps students to actually make an effort in understanding the terms that are used in the chapter, and also practice well in advance, the difficult words that are usually present. This allows them to read the words several times and know about its presence. Therefore, when an individual is actually made to read aloud, he/she would not be startled at the sight of the words. This makes reading smooth, and the concepts also become more familiar.
Everybody Read To
Sounds interesting at the first instance! Well, the concept is interesting too. Here, a single student is not made the ‘scape-goat’ in the entire reading phenomena. Rather, for ease, the teacher assigns a particular chapter or topic to the students for them to read. They are also given the purpose of the study, i.e., they are assigned the task of getting some inferences and information from this entire task of reading. Needless to say, the students are bound to concentrate and read in order to gather the required information. To make things more interesting and easy, they are sometimes helped with some obvious hints or statements, that make it easier for them to find the required information. When the children are done with the ‘fact-finding’ part, they are called to share their piece of information, along with the exact paragraphs and sentences where they found the answers. Thus, they themselves, in a way, teach themselves.
For teachers who feel the need of having RRRS in order to help develop the students’ reading ability and fluency, here’s another better alternative to practice, guilt-free. The students are allotted a particular set of text to read. But here, they are not made to read alone, nor are they given any specific findings to make. It is done simply for the fun of reading, aloud! It can typically be practiced when there’s a poem or rhyme at hand. The students read it in unison together, enjoying the rhyme as well. It also helps those readers who are rather conscious about their comparatively poor reading ability.
As the name suggests, this reading practice requires some guidance, which is obtained from the teacher. The teacher divides the class into small groups. The grouping is done bearing in mind the capabilities of the children. Groups of similar students should be made, rather than having quick learners and slow learners in the same group. This motivates the morale of the kids. They don’t feel anxious or overwhelmed about the excellent reading skills of one or two fellow students. They read and also try to comprehend the meaning. After they are done with the reading, the teacher must ask questions, ensuring that they read and understood. After all, this is the whole purpose of using this strategy. The teacher must also intervene and guide the students when they make mistakes while reading.
This is one ideal thing to practice in literature classes. The students are given a text to read, usually from a piece of literature. The reader is expected to read the line as to enable the listeners to correctly visualize the theme of the story. This doesn’t involve stage acting. It only make the readers use their voice articulation gestures, so as to communicate the story as originally written. Therefore, the students are benefited, because they are able to learn the art of right articulation, expression, fluency, effective narration, and of course, comprehension.
Here, the teacher reads the text, and then the students follow the teacher by reading aloud the same text again. One inherent quality of this technique is that, the students know beforehand how to read the passage. Therefore, errors are naturally minimized. The primary beneficiary of this strategy are those students who don’t excel in the art of reading. It helps them follow the teacher, thereby learning to read the correct way. This reading practice is also known as ‘Imitative Reading’.
In this activity, students are expected to read independently, in whispers. Meanwhile, the teacher takes rounds of the class and assesses the reading of every child, correcting them if required. It helps, because, the reader can read at his own pace, without having to worry about the common pace that is expected to be followed in oral exercises which involve a loud reading style.
Cloze Reading or Fill up the blank Reading
This technique is also known as the ‘fill up the blanks’ activity. In this strategy, the teacher reads the passage aloud, and the students are supposed to read along silently with her. The teacher then stops or omits words during reading, and the students are to give the missing word. This is one of the best oral reading practices, which helps students to focus, read fluently, and learn the lesson correctly.
It is one of the methods employed in the process of reciprocal teaching. The questions are taught to make predictions, ask questions, clarify the facts, and summarize the chapters. This strategy is effective in not only improving the reading skills of the students, but also helps in honing their analytic and reasoning capabilities. It helps them ask more questions, and also encourages classroom discussions. It prepares them to raise their own questions, which are answered and clarified by classmates, and finally, the topic is revised by summarizing key points.
Paired Reading/Peer-assisted Reading
This is another reading technique that is used to improve the reading fluency of students. Students are usually paired up, keeping in mind their reading faculties. Those whose reading capacities are similar, are paired together, or the pairing is sometimes done by matching a good reader with a relatively weaker one. This is done to correct the reading flaws of the weaker student, and bring him at par with the other person. Study material may consist of any subject, as it is not a subject-specific activity. The two students who are paired are known as ‘buddies’, and they read out aloud to each other. After one finishes a round of reading, the other re-reads the entire part, to incorporate better understanding of the subject, and also to master the art of fluency in reading.
Radio reading involves one reader reading text which is appealing to everyone, imitating the reading format of a radio announcer. The rest of the students simply listen and try to decipher appropriate information. The reader is expected to communicate the message correctly through his reading regime. Students not only benefit by developing their reading fluency, but also develop proper articulation and expression. It involves multiple-times reading, in order to perfectly communicate the message of the text. Thus, reading quality is accentuated.
This is one of the best methods to take up in middle and high school. Let us understand this with an example. There is a particular chapter which has several sections. The class is divided into two groups. Each group reads and understands its section. Then one member from each section goes to the other group and explains the details of their section, and vice versa. Those students then come back to their respective groups and explain the new set of information they learned from the other group. Thus, the entire chapter gets learned by all the students, incorporating minimum effort at one particular time.
This is a time-based reading activity. The reader is given a text to read at a pace in a given time. Several repetitions of reading the passage ensures good fluency and accuracy among the students. This method, research says, is one of the best methods to instill correct learning procedures among beginners.
The above-mentioned oral reading activities are supposed to replace the less effective, or rather, ineffective reading activity which is still practiced until today, perhaps due to the long trailing history that it has. There are many researchers who say that the process doesn’t hold significant scientific arguments which support ‘RRRS’ or even the popcorn reading style. Before practicing this almost-obsolete mode of teaching, one must have a comprehensive understanding about the entire practice of Round Robin Reading, and the pros and cons associated with it.