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Same or Different Books for Read to Someone

Filed under: Uncategorized — andersem at 10:35 pm on Sunday, September 30, 2012

My school uses the Daily 5/CAFE structure when it comes to reading. Each day we have three rotations that always consist of read to self and work on writing. On M/W/F we have work on word study and on Tu/Th we do read to someone as our third rotation.

The reason we only do read to someone twice a week is because I, as a teacher, hate it. I don’t like the noise level, I don’t like how they have to share a book, and I don’t like that they don’t stop to check for understanding as often as I would like. We spent the first several weeks practicing stopping to check for understanding, modeling what it looks like to sit EEKK, and practicing our whisper reading. Sometimes as a group we are very successful at this, however, most of the time we don’t get as much out of read to someone as I would like.

Since I don’t like read to someone, I have thought about lots of ways that I could change it to make it better. The largest worry that I have with it is whether or not my students are getting enough out of that time. We spend an entire hour of our literacy block (2- 30 min sessions) each week devoted to this time, so it has to be worthwhile. The biggest question that I have had is whether or not it is better to have students reading the same book when they are reading to someone, or whether or not to have students reading different books?

I think kids enjoy just picking up a book and taking turns reading that book with their partner, however, I don’t believe they are getting much out of it. Besides the right there check for understanding questions, students who are not reading that book already don’t know the whole story, who the characters are, and what the overall theme or moral of the story is. So, is this beneficial except for the fact that they get to practice their oral reading fluency?

The opposite is when students have the same read to someone partner and they read a book together over a couple of weeks. That means that they still get to practice their oral reading with a partner but they are also fully aware of what is happening in the story.

I tend to lean toward reading the same book and keeping partners because then they can really work on comprehension through check for understanding. However, I see the benefit of switching partners and being exposed to pieces of stories. This gives kids the chance to read with stronger readers and those who are not as strong, as well as an opportunity to read a variety of books. Hopefully this will expose them to stories that they may want to read themselves.

For those of you who do read to someone, which way do you have it set up in your classroom? Have you tried multiple ways? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the ways that you have tried?




October 14, 2012 @ 4:56 pm   Reply

I have tried Read to Someone for the first time this year, and it has been very unstructured so far. I’m thinking about introducing a long-term partnership approach soon so that kids are reading a book together for a few weeks as part of a unit we are studying. I have also experienced the feeling that “they’re not getting enough out of it” for me to make it an every day occurrence, and this probably stems from the fact that they didn’t get to buddy read very frequently in school last year and are so excited to be talking to friends about books that they might not read the whole time. However, I’m not ready to abandon it because reading aloud with fluency is one of the best ways to practice building fluency skills, and I think even my most accurate readers need to slow down when they read aloud to make their reading more understandable. They do much better with this when they read to a friend, not to me, because their friends will interrupt them if they don’t understand something. I think I’m going to try to pair my kids up with more long-term partners even if they are not reading the same book just to see if this helps with behavior some. And I love the idea of using this part of the Daily 5 rotation for word study several days a week. I couldn’t figure out how to fit it all in and now I feel much more flexible!



    October 14, 2012 @ 11:48 pm   Reply

    Courtney, I definitely did not like read to someone when I started it because of what you have said. This year I spent a lot longer modeling what it looks like and A LOT of time practicing with rewards for those who were doing it well. So far (fingers crossed), it has been more successful. It is still not something that I am in love with but as they practice and use the modeled expectations, it should get better.

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