I wonder what you think…
A while ago, I was in a Twitter chat that was discussing ways to teach/encourage reading.
Several ideas came up:
- Extreme Reading,
- Read Around the World,
- Reading Races and so on.
It reminded me of this:
If you haven’t come across Power Teaching it is a Elementary School teaching style from America relies heavily on Learning Styles.
(Please don’t hit me! **Ducking for cover** I was younger and impressionable at the time!)
Look up Chris Biffle & Chris Rekstad.
I tried it out a few times and did have some success with it. Children certainly enjoyed it and they did want to play.
I have tried it a few times since, and it does, genuinely engage children in the reading activity.
I am not sure I would use the format used by Rekstad in the video, but I would go along with the core principles.
THE 4 STAGES OF THE CRAZY PROFESSOR GAME:
STAGE 1: Read your text using as much expression as possible
STAGE 2: Read again using lots of expression and physical gesture
STAGE 3: Teach Your Neighbour – Summarise your reading to your partner, show you understand what you have read.
STAGE 4: Crazy Professor vs Eager Student:
The ‘professor’ gives an excitable summary, being expressive and asking the ‘student’ questions. Meanwhile, the ‘student’ listens attentively, answers the questions and encourages the ‘professor’ to give more and more feedback.
PROS AND CONS OF THE CRAZY PROFESSOR GAME.
- I can see how this might aid children’s comprehension skills.
- I can see how the use of expression and gesture might encourage enjoyment.
- I can see how the paired feedback and questioning would support mutual understanding of the text.
- I can see how this might be one way of teaching a whole class reading lesson. (Not THE way.)
- It allows for differentiation of a text to higher and lower levels.
- It would allow the teacher to join in and work with whichever group of children were the focus for that session.
- It would quickly show those children who might need help, or are being 'passive'. (Not my favourite word).
- Could be great for reading comics, including speech, then lead to drama and performance.
- How sustainable would playing the game be?
- Could it lead to genuine and significant progress in children’s reading?
- Would this just lead to children shouting out stories?
- Would it be a technique leading to measurable progress?
- Could it 'put off' those children who are less 'boisterous'?
- If it was that awesome wouldn’t we all be doing it?
I really would like to know your thoughts.
I am not selling the idea, but I have tried it on and off over a few years and while not in any way sold on it, I remain curious.