Alternatives to Round Robin & Popcorn Reading


Help students become better readers


Wondering if Round Robin and Popcorn styles are really the best practice when it comes to working on reading in the classroom? This article from Edutopia takes a look at the traditional Round Robin style of reading out loud and offers some alternative practices.

Round Robin reading is defined in the same article as students reading “orally from a common text, one child after another, while the rest of the class follows along in their copies of the text.” Popcorn style is a type of Round Robin reading, where one student is reading aloud, then says “Popcorn” before choosing another student to continue reading.

Author Todd Finley makes the argument that when it comes to improving literacy and encouraging kids to read, the Round Robin style may not be the best approach. He shares several studies and their findings that Round Robin may have a negative effect on students and their reading progress.

Happily, the article includes 11 better approaches for you to try instead! A few of them include:

  • Choral reading: The teacher and class read passages or paragraphs out loud together, which reduces potential embarassment for struggling readers
  • Teacher read-aloud: The teacher shows how proper pronunciation and inflection are used while reading
  • Buddy reading: Students read out loud to prepare for reading to children in a younger grade

Do you use Round Robin or Popcorn style reading? How about any of the 11 alternatives? What have you found works the best in your library or classroom?