Friday, April 04, 2008

I have been reading postings on the Discussion Board for my class. Students are required to read articles and then discuss them asynchronously. Embedded in several of the postings are hints about what goes on in the classroom where the students are student teaching. I came across a heart stopping [for me] comment that referred to "pop corn reading" [a new name for round robin reading] and one that alluded to the practice of having students read text "cold" - without any preparation - with the goal to prepare students for a lecture to come. Things like this make me want to go running screaming into the night. Was I not clear about NOT having students read aloud? I've tried to be clear about the issue: if you have students read aloud, there should be a purpose for doing so -- for example, having students read text aloud to support an inference [or refute an inference made by someone else]. Likewise with the "cold reading" issue. This one comes up in both the graduate class and my undergraduate class - students just don't get that readers have to be prepared to read a text - particularly students who are learning to read history or math or science or more difficult literature. I don't know - maybe if I give them a taste of their own medicine. Hmmmmm - I'm planning class for next week and perhaps that's what I'll do. Have them read some esoteric text before a "lecture" and then debrief the students. I've got a lovely text to use!


Anonymous said...

I must say that I agree try not to have students read without preparation. I also know which students that do not read well and I will not call on them. I am fearful of students becoming embarassed and then not ever wanting read a text again. Kids react differently than adults and a simple embarassment in class can be a major thing for them. By the way, I am in your class and please do not have me read the text you have in mind- please!
Bryan Watts

Amber Golden said...

I agree with you 100% about NOT having students read aloud, unless it is for a certain purpose. Teachers seemed to have picked on me about reading aloud because I had a bit of dyslexia coming through school. One of my teachers tried to rectify my dyslexia by embarrassing me, and that was not the way to go at all. Knowing that students do not read well and making them read aloud can make matters worst. Not only are they embarrassed of what might be a disorder, but their self esteem will plunder. Being a preservice teacher, I practice reading something silently and out loud before I present it to the class because I am still nervous about saying the wrong thing.

I never select students to read aloud, unless they absolutely want to. However, I did a lesson on "Jabberwocky" several weeks ago, and students actually wanted to try to read it aloud. I was astonished to listen to some of them say "'Twas brilling, and the slithy toves did grye..."

Anonymous said...

Personally I have not done the cold reading with any of my students, but during my practicum my CT did. The reason for the cold reading was not to make the students feel bad if they were not strong readers, it was to assure that all of the students were familiar with the text prior to moving on to an activity. Yes there were students who were not good readers, but no one laughed at them because eventually everyone was going to have a turn at reading. I do agree that this is not the best way to have the text read, but the CT seemed to think that this was the only way. Hey,.... how about a teacher read aloud. With the read aloud the students would get more out of the text than snickering at mistakes their classmates are making.

Karen Harris