Sunday, September 14, 2008

Round Robin and Popcorn Reading

I did the majority of my elementary schooling in Wilmington, North Carolina at Alderman Elementary School; I went there second through fifth grade. I clearly remember both the round robin and popcorn reading strategies from when I was in school. Round robin reading didn't really bother me much. I would read over what I had to read outloud one time, any more than once and I would make myself nervous, and then I would just listen to what people were reading. Usually, I had a hard time concentrating on what was being read, but I am a much a much more visual learner than oral learner. I would often find myself zoned out in my own head thinking about what had happened at lunch or that morning on the bus. As long as I read along with whom ever was reading than I didn't get distracted. However, when it comes to popcorn reading I dreaded it. I'm not shy, but I hate being called out. I like to know what I need to do ahead of time in order to properly prepare myself. I am very ADD and my mind wanders extremely easy. Popcorn reading was my worst enemy because I always seemed to be called on right after my mind had slipped off to the book I was reading or my favorite tv show. Then I had to scramble to find the place in the reading, and if I wasn't sitting near a friend I was out of luck and had to prepare for embarrassment. I don't think these activities had much effect on my fondness of reading, but I also have a huge imagination and love fantasy and the way you can get lost in a book's world. I can definitely see how multiple dramatic experiences with either round robin or popcorn reading can have negative effects on a child's desire to read. I also remember that my teachers would always make us to do the reading activities for so long. It felts like hours were going by, and you had to read multiple times which meant multiple screw up opportunities! I don't plan on using popcorn reading very often unless it is in a nonthreatening way and for pure assessment. There are better ways to get kids to want to read, not just force them to read.

1 comment:

Mark Pennington said...

For an analysis of why round robin and popcorn reading are pedagogical flops, visit