Build fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary by reading and writing with the Speak Out! Readers' Theater. The grade 3 kit contains 10 multi-level scripts that are ideal for grouping students with different reading levels and providing the repeated oral reading practice students need to improve fluency. Each script focuses on a different content area, thereby exposing students to a variety of engaging topics.
Scripts and writing tips by Joy Cowley!
Speak Out! Readers’ Theater Grade 3 Kit includes:
Teachers’ Guide included with each kit (Support for modeling and scaffolding during readers’ theater, ideas for implementing readers’ theater, assessment support, writing support, author tips)
Q: How long does it take to implement Speak Out! Readers' Theater within my classroom?
A: It takes about 20 minutes to set students up for using readers’ theater scripts so that they have a clear idea of what to do and what the purpose is. Each script can vary in length, but it takes about 30 minutes for a group of students read each script through one time. Students who are struggling readers or English language learners may benefit from some repeated reading of the scripts with the audio component for fluent models of reading.
Q: What sets Speak Out! Readers' Theater apart from other readers' theater programs?
A: Speak Out! provides an audio CD, multi-level scripts, writing connection, and assessment rubrics.
Q: How is Readers' Theater different from playacting? Why is it recommended that students read, but not memorize, scripts? Why is there no acting and no props, scenery, or costumes?
A: The aim of Readers' Theater is to concentrate on fluency reading. The skills practiced in Readers' Theater are quite different form those practiced in staged productions. Readers' Theater facilitates students' reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary development. When students concentrate on acting, props, and scenery, reading fluency can become of secondary importance.
Q: How are students of different abilities able to work together?
A: The scripts are multileveled in order to cater to the needs and varying skill levels of mixed ability groups. As a consequence, social grouping is an option with Speak out! Readers' Theater. The level of confidence and skill will differ considerably among students. The more confident reader still benefits from practicing reading aloud and can be a model for reading with expression. The less confident student benefits from working with more capable readers and is able to build confidence and reading fluency through repeated practice with the audio support and with a partner.
Q: How are Speak Out! Readers' Theater scripts leveled?
A: The different parts are leveled according to a variety of readability measures, teacher recommendations, and trialling. These are expressed as guided reading levels. It should be remembered, however, that no readability formula can account for everything students bring to the task by way of interest in and knowledge of the topic. These factors considerably influence how well a student is able to read a piece of text, so it is recommended that teachers use their knowledge of the students and the scripts to match students to parts. There is no need to be concerned if you don't get it quite right every time. The recordings will provide support and a good model for those who are struggling.
Q: How do I occupy the rest of the class?
A: This depends on the type of program your students are used to. If your students are used to working in centers, continue your usual program using Speak Out! Readers Theater at one or more of the centers. If your students are used to working in a whole class situation, they could all be involved with Readers' Theater, each working with their own group and rotating through the listening center. Speak Out! involves students writing Readers' Theater scripts. They could also be doing this when they are not working with the teacher.
Q: How does Speak Out! Readers' Theater help ELL students?
A: Speak Out! Readers' Theater offers motivation, support, and guidance to ELL students as they learn to read aloud with increasing fluency. Strickland, Ganske, and Monroe (2002) suggest the following when working with ELL students. These techniques have been incorporated into the Speak Out! approach.
ELL students need opportunities to use the language they are acquiring in these areas over and over again. Speak Out! Readers' Theater provides these opportunities. Speak Out! also offers useful integration of language arts with content areas such as math, science, and social studies. The Speak Out! approach to Readers' Theater offers opportunities for ELL students to talk about text in cooperative, group discussions with first-language speakers of English. Speak Out! Readers' Theater engages ELL students in reflecting on what they have learned as they write scripts of their own.
Q: Can Speak Out! Readers' Theater be used as take-home?
A: Speak Out! Readers' Theater is a great resource for home practice. Students can take the scripts home and practice reading to them with family members. This can be a particularly enjoyable experience when students take home scripts they have written themselves.
Q: Is assessment provided with Speak Out! Readers' Theater?
A: Speak Out! Readers' Theater provides teachers with guidance on assessing students' reading levels and accuracy. It also provides teachers and students with guidance on assessing reading fluency: smoothness, ability to read with meaning, pace, expression, volume, and timing. A rubric for teacher, peer, and self-assessment of reading is provided in the Teachers' Guide.
Q: Should all students listen to the audio support with every script?
A: The purpose of the audio support is to provide audio support and a good model when it is needed. Students vary considerably in the amount of audio support they need, but all would benefit from at least one practice with the CD. Within a mixed ability group, some students may have little need for the recording other than to discuss how they could utilize ideas from it. Others in the group may need it to listen to the recording a number of times if they need support to read fluently at this grade level. The aim, of course, is to be able to read without the audio support, but in a mixed ability group with students all reading the same script, a recording is a proven means of providing interim support and ensuring that all students participate at a similar level. It is also useful support for the students who chose or are allocated parts that prove to be a little too difficult for them.
Q: How many times should students practice with audio support?
A: Students very considerably in the amount of support they need— some needing little or no support and others needing up to ten practices with the audio support. Once a student is able to read the text with fluency, they no longer need the support of a recording— and this is, of course the aim: to be able to read fluently without support. If a student is still having difficulty reading the text with fluency after ten practices, check that the text level is at the correct instructional level for the student. Teachers' Guide pages 16-17 provide information regarding assessment.
"Readers' Theater yields improvements in students' word recognition, fluency, and comprehension."
The Fluent Reader
"Speak Out! is engaging and easy to use. My students love it!"
Laurel Elementary School
|Guided Reading Level||F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S|
|Grade Level||3rd Grade, Grade Level Kits|