What Is a Round Robin Reading Group?

Reading provides bonding time at an early age.

Some people might remember round robin reading from elementary school. Each student took turns reading sentences, paragraphs or pages from a classroom storybook, while the others sat and read along silently. Proficient reading is required for a successful future. While some teachers still believe a round robin reading group proves beneficial, others believe it provides a negative reading experience. Some educators have adopted alternative methods to the traditional round robin reading group, while others have adopted a whole new approach.

1 Why Teachers Use Round Robin Reading

Teachers primarily use a round robin reading group as an assessment tool. Teachers typically have many students, and individual one-on-one reading is not feasible. Incorporating round robin reading groups provides the educator with the ability to assess multiple students at one time. As each student performs the out-loud reading session, the instructor determines the reading capacity of each individual. These assessments provide the educator with a basis for reading plans tailored to the individual's needs. Aside from the educator's assessment, students gain an introduction to public speaking.

2 Teacher Assessments

During a round robin reading group, teachers are assessing the student's overall reading ability. They are looking for proper pronunciation, the ability to sound out unfamiliar words, accuracy and automaticity. It is common for the instructor to follow the reading session with materials to determine the individual's comprehension skills, or the ability to remember and understand what was read.

3 Negative Implications of Round Robin Reading Groups

Round robin reading groups have undergone scrutiny by teachers, parents and education professionals for many reasons. It is believed that the more advanced readers are being held back while the group provides an embarrassing environment for the slower readers. This reading environment often leads to disruptive behavior with little attention from those who are not reading, creating a distraction and loss of concentration for other students.

4 Alternatives to Round Robin Reading Groups

Because of the scrutiny of round robin reading groups, educators have adopted alternative methods to assist with the fundamental goals of reading and comprehension. The educator can alternatively assign the reading material as homework the night before. This gives the students a chance to prepare for the out-loud classroom reading by learning the material beforehand. Sometimes teachers divide the classroom into groups based on the reading abilities of each student. These groups perform the aloud reading within the group. This allows the students more aloud reading time, reduced negative behaviors and a higher concentration level. Other professionals have removed the round robin reading groups and begun utilizing additional resources such as sustained silent reading.

Pam Haefner has been writing professionally since 1992. She has written content for various websites including Online Consultation, Jansen Electronics and more. Haefner is currently pursuing an associate's degree in business at Highland Community College. She also studied editing and publishing at Rock Valley College.