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Old 11-14-2012, 08:05 AM
perplexed's Avatar
perplexed perplexed is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 251
Getting a class to silent read....

I am wondering if I should give up on silent reading with one class or if I should keep working at it......

I am having difficulties with one class and getting them to read silently and independently. I teach 5 classes of reading intervention, and just this one class WILL NOT read. We've been in school 10 weeks and still they need to be reminded of the procedures every day. They are to come in, get their materials ready, pick out a book or use one they have, and just read. After the 10-12 minutes, then students record the book on their reading log. Twice a week, I also have do a small response using a reading strategy. All my other classes have this down. It's pretty amazing. The class that is having issues with this will come in, get materials, and get their books, but there is a lot of talking. There's talking, I remind them, they're quiet, then they're talking again. This happens almost every day. It's all 14 of them, except maybe two, but then he's not really reading because he's watching the others talk.
I do give consequences, move seats, have some see me after school, after class, so I don't know what else will work or if I should just give up on it.

I know that these students don't get time during the day to ever read for fun because their other class sizes are so large, so I wanted to give them 10-15 minutes a day to just choose a good book and read so that they can enjoy reading. Most of my students are reluctant readers, but I think I've been successful with my other classes. We talk about building stanima a lot. I've modeled what it should look like and sound like. I started a chart where if they get so many stickers, they can earn something. They just don't seem motivated to read. It's not something that important to them the last hour of the day.

Should I give up on it and do a different warm-up activity? Or should I keep sticking with it and keep trying? I'm glad I have them following the procedures right up until it's time to read. I do have a lot of interesting books, but maybe I need to get even more. I could maybe get magazines too.

What would you do?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:56 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
I would definitely look at getting magazines in their interests (your library may donate older issues) and graphic novels with lots of pictures.

I would also talk to the students about how reading the pictures is okay when they don't feel like reading the words. They can tell the story themselves or look for details in the pictures.

I would change how they get materials. Maybe have them grab a bag with materials already in it. Or you could hand it to them. I would have them change the materials in their bag after silent reading or at the end of the period.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:14 PM
Ima Teacher's Avatar
Ima Teacher Ima Teacher is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,003
Middle School Teacher
Do they have the ability to read silently?

I still have kids in my 7th grade classes who aren't independent readers yet.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:15 PM
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czacza czacza is online now
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New Jersey
Grade 3
Incorporate a mini lesson and give them some accountable work to do in their reading: a pst it thought, share a passage, retelling, describe a character trait....At the end of your reading time.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:53 PM
EdEd EdEd is online now
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I'm seeing that your position is in reading intervention? If so, I would not have kids read silently when with you as it wastes time you could be using on more targeted interventions. I'm not 100% against silent reading, but there are 2 fundamental problems with it:

1) There is a good amount of evidence I've seen that silent reading is not an effective intervention, in large part because there's no way of monitoring whether reading is actually happening. This is not to say that silent reading is not beneficial when it occurs, but the problem is knowing if it occurs.

2) Silent reading is not as effective as other interventions in terms of "bang for your buck" in a structured intervention setting. The only time I'd be tempted to use silent reading in an intervention session is if I were working with another group/student and had nothing else for the students to do. I can think of other things I'd chose instead.

If, on the other hand, you are having all kids start your intervention period with 10 minutes of silent reading, I would definitely not do that. If kids are receiving intervention, it's likely because they have a very specific problem with reading, which is not likely to be fixed by silent reading. Even if the issue is simply a problem with reading fluency of connected text, using repeated readings or other evidence-based interventions would be the way to go.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:46 PM
Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
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Have you played soft music while they read?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:52 PM
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BumbleB BumbleB is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 930
What consequences do they have if they don't silent read?

Do you take them to the school library to pick out books?

Do you instruct them on picking a "just right" book for their reading level?

But I do agree with EdEd....considering your class is reading intervention, and I'm assuming all of your students are below grade level in reading, it is probably not the best use of your time to fight the "silent reading battle" every day.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:00 PM
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WindyCityGal606 WindyCityGal606 is offline
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Posts: 2,414
Immersing students in reading is very important. Teaching them sustained silent reading, even more so. You may have to build them up to that 10-12 minutes you want to see happen. Begin with small increments until they are able to sustain that entire 12 minutes. It may take some trial and practice but I think it's worth it. I don't use reading logs because some students see it as meaningless. Instead, can you have them do more authentic responses and have them read a longer piece so they aren't tempted to begin something brand new each time they come into your class. I have my students collect reading materials in a plastic ziplock bag and ask them to read from those materials. they are required to change it out regularly but are allowed to fill it with books they want as long as they are at their lexile level. Are your students reading books at an independent reading level or are they at the frustration level. If your students have trouble with attention, having them read silently may be a very challenging task. I agree that there are other strategies that may need to be targeted during this time with you but developing a love for reading is important.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:10 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,464
5th Grade Teacher
One thing I do that helps this problem came from a reading seminar that I attended. Try changing your silent reading to reading for about 8 minutes and then sharing with a partner for about 4 minutes (Each person shares for 2 minutes).

Students want to have a purpose for reading. Sharing with a partner what they read gives them that purpose. This has worked in 3rd and 5th grade for me. I don't do it all the time, but more when I have a group that doesn't like silent reading as much. This year's group loves silent reading, so I don't use it as much with them.

You could see if it would work in 6th or 7th. It sounds like it couldn't hurt.
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