May 13, 2014

Reading Aloud with Fluency

Today's teaching tip is inspired by this lovely meme I came across in a Buzzfeed list (because... of course!):


I recall doing this exact thing when I was a student for fear that I would stumble through my portion of the text. Nothing is worse than that on-the-spot feeling you get when you're reading aloud and come across a word you don't know how to pronounce.

When I was in third grade, I was called out TWICE during one social studies class when my teacher noticed I was on the wrong page. She thought I would be persuaded to follow along when she put my name on the board, but that just made me cry, leaving me even more distracted. And then that biotch called on me AGAIN (she was so evil) because she KNEW I still didn't know where we were, and I got my first and only check in my entire career as a student.

And the lesson I learned?

Don't get caught!

So, what is a teacher to do? You don't want to do all the reading all the time, and you know students of all ages need practice reading aloud so they can work on their fluency skills. But how do you keep them from falling becoming hyper-focused on only one section of the text?

When I was a student, another popular method was popcorn reading. I'm sure you're all familiar with this strategy where one person randomly calls on the next person to read without warning. In my experience, both as a student and teacher, this method is anxiety-provoking, which only exasperates our original problem of students not focusing on the content of the text.

Instead, here's an idea I can offer:

Step 1: Assign every student a section of the reading.
Step 2: Give students a few minutes to practice their sections independently (aloud).
Step 3: Circulate and assist with pronunciation and other fluency traps.
Step 4: Read the text aloud without confidence!

It's win-win, y'all!

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOATHE having my kids read aloud in front of the whole class. I don't do it. They'd rather partner read or in small groups. I figure the less they are intimidated, the more they will read. It's sickening that this type of thing does indeed still happen like it happened to us when we were kids. I always wanted to hide under my desk.
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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