Same or Different Books for Read to Someone
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?