asking students to perform for their classmates, without having time to practice.
More recently, I visited a classroom where the teacher was using "waterfall reading". It was round robin reading--only the students didn't know their parts in advance. Although that solved part of the problem (students did listen better), they were still simply word calling when they read out loud--there was no comprehension.
So what are some alternatives? Edutopia posted a great blog entry with 11 other options. Here's the first two:
1. Choral Reading
The teacher and class read a passage aloud together, minimizing struggling readers' public exposure. In a 2011 study of over a hundred sixth graders (PDF, 232KB), David Paige found that 16 minutes of whole-class choral reading per week enhanced decoding and fluency. In another version, every time the instructor omits a word during her oral reading, students say the word all together.
2. Partner Reading
Two-person student teams alternate reading aloud, switching each time there is a new paragraph. Or they can read each section at the same time.