Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Professional Book Glimpse (the start)

Day Nine and the Big Time Literacy Blogging Challenge. We have no pets at home (much to some boys chagrin), so I give a tiny glimpse of a book I am reading.

Good-bye Round Robin  by Michael F. Opitz and Timothy Rasinski

One day a week ago my son wanted to go to Barnes & Noble. No problem for me! I ended with this book. My school loves everything Timothy Rasinski, so I knew I wouldn't go wrong getting this book. I haven't read all the way through (only the Introduction and Chapter 1), but some gems have spoken to me.

1. Children are always worth our best efforts. p. xx  {YES!!}

2. Oral reading is a form of assessment. p. xvii {Never thought of it that way.}

3. Silent reading is the key to effective reading, but oral reading is also necessary. {Think--read aloud a recipe to your friend who is cooking; read aloud a book to your child at bedtime (or in the car on a long trip); read aloud the menu to someone; share a poem at Poet's Night at the library; read aloud the tv guide to help your grandma decide what to watch} So, teach both--but have a specific, authentic purpose for each session.

Now, what does this all mean to me?

This past year my own children have helped me to understand how much they hated round robin reading in school. (Remember, they were in 8th and 5th grade, and both very good readers--great comprehension, and fluency.)

My eighth grader was reading The Giver in his ELA class. They spent time every day reading it out loud. He hated it. The reader went too slow. He had to slow down to keep up. He just wanted to enjoy the book, but couldn't in case he was called upon to read aloud. 

I didn't know what to tell him. All I could do was listen and sympathize.

Now, I read about why round robin is not good. (We all knew that, right? We learned that in college. But were we taught what to do instead? Not me.) And I have ideas of how his class could have been better. But what I need is to help him at home. Not to read, he reads voluntarily every day. Year round. But how to help him be ok with his class assignments. 

So, even though I cannot change my children's teachers or the way they teach, I can change what I do with oral reading in my class. And I think from what I've read so far that this can be applicable to all grades K-12 (and beyond).

The rest of this book is about HOW to do oral reading. Cannot wait to get to that! I'll let you know what I find out.

Thanks, Michelle and this blogging challenge.

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  1. I saw Tim Rasinski present once and he was awesome! I even used one of his ideas and e-mailed him to let him know-not only did he reply but he sent me some free books on fluency! I'm a big fan. :)

    Not Just Child's Play

  2. I would like to know more about what to do instead of round robin!! I still use it to some extent in guided reading. This is in process. We do more simultaneous reading now in guided reading.

  3. Timothy Rasinski is definitely a reading guru! Thanks for the book recommendation, Alyce. I'll have to check it out. Have a fabulous Wednesday! ;)

  4. It is so hard to know something doesnt work in the classroom, but not be able to change it for your kids. Hopefully his teachers will read the book too!

  5. I'm glad you brought this up! I've been noticing more and more round robin sneaking back into classrooms in my district. I've noticed that student teachers and new teachers in particular don't seem to know what strategies they can use that are more effective. Sounds like a great book! I love Rasinski's Making and Building Words Lessons.
    Not very fancy

  6. Do you ever have kids whisper read while they sit at guided reading with you? My work bff (and our reading specialist) taught me this - that way all the kids read aloud and then you can listen in on one at a time. It's brilliant! :-)

  7. I put this book on my wish list after you blogged about it earlier. Maybe I'll have to go ahead and buy it. My daughter never said anything, but I'm sure she was just like your son. And I can think of two or three kids from each year's class that are probably the same way.

  8. Reading your blog, I am realizing I must waste a lot of time. I haven't read any books or finished organizing my stuff! ha
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher


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