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Old 03-25-2013, 09:16 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
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5th Grade Teacher
Silent Reading

I have for many years have had Silent Reading for about 15 minutes each day. In general it has worked well in grades 3, 4, and 5 which I have taught. We had a presenter at an inservice who said that we should have students write each day about what they read in Silent Reading otherwise how do we know if they are reading? To me, that would seem to kill the joy of Silent Reading, so I am not so sure of this idea.

I was wondering do you do anything to keep your students accountable in Silent Reading or to increase the probability that they will read during this time? Most of my students do read during Silent Reading so it isn't a big problem, just wondering if I should try to improve on this at all.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2013, 09:32 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is online now
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High School English (Alt. Ed.)
When I had students do silent reading (about 10-15 minutes every day) I created a guide for them, questions they had to answer. they could only answer if they read, and it did help them understand the novel better.

If I didn't do it, some of my students would have sat there, and pretended that they read. This way it was measurable.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:35 PM
waterfall waterfall is offline
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K-3 Sped Resource Teacher
We are required to have a "reading log center" and students spend the majority of the time reading and then maybe 2-3 minutes writing about what they read. I think it doesn't really help prove that they are reading, because they only have time to write maybe two sentences. If they know anything at all about the book, they can write a sentence or two about it in a very general way. On the other hand, we just don't have time during reading class to write entire paragraphs about the book, and I feel like requiring that much would make it seem tedious. My kids that like reading and are skilled enough to read chapter books love the reading log center. Those that don't I'm pretty sure are just sitting there turning pages. If it were up to me I'd have them doing something else.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:40 PM
FT2012 FT2012 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readingrules12 View Post
I have for many years have had Silent Reading for about 15 minutes each day. In general it has worked well in grades 3, 4, and 5 which I have taught. We had a presenter at an inservice who said that we should have students write each day about what they read in Silent Reading otherwise how do we know if they are reading? To me, that would seem to kill the joy of Silent Reading, so I am not so sure of this idea.

I was wondering do you do anything to keep your students accountable in Silent Reading or to increase the probability that they will read during this time? Most of my students do read during Silent Reading so it isn't a big problem, just wondering if I should try to improve on this at all.
I teach 4th grade (1st year) and my school insists that this happens. My students use post-it notes to write down important pieces of information (character, setting, problem, solution, main idea for nonfiction) or to create opinions on their reading (a surprising event, a question they have, an interesting fact, etc). The students then place these post-it notes in their reading journals under the heading for that book; when they finish reading they can create a summary of the book with help from their post-its.

As a 1st year teacher, I struggle with this idea because I have not read every single book in my classroom library and I often wonder if my students are summarizing their books accurately. I also love the idea of just having the students read silently for a period of time, but my P wants constant accountablity from teachers and students.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:51 PM
Tyler B. Tyler B. is offline
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Upper Elementary Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by readingrules12 View Post
I have for many years have had Silent Reading for about 15 minutes each day. In general it has worked well in grades 3, 4, and 5 which I have taught. We had a presenter at an inservice who said that we should have students write each day about what they read in Silent Reading otherwise how do we know if they are reading? To me, that would seem to kill the joy of Silent Reading, so I am not so sure of this idea.

I was wondering do you do anything to keep your students accountable in Silent Reading or to increase the probability that they will read during this time? Most of my students do read during Silent Reading so it isn't a big problem, just wondering if I should try to improve on this at all.
I agree that writing about SR could kill some of the joy, but to me the bigger loss is the time it takes for students to write (when they could be reading) and you to respond to their writing.

It's pretty clear who is reading and who isn't. Your weaker readers will check out a non-fiction book about airplanes and just look at the pictures. They don't know the feeling of getting meaning from text and getting lost in a story. Students need to check with me before I'll let them reading non-fiction or comic-style books during SR.

You need to make sure these students actually read and not just look at pictures. I do this by observing these target students and reading with them to get them into a book or having a buddy or volunteer read with them to make sure they spend the time processing words.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:58 PM
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bison bison is offline
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There's a peer-reviewed article called Facilitating Engagement by Differentiating Independent Reading by Kelley and Clausen-Grace that addresses this perfectly, but I can't find the full text online. Maybe someone has access to it? It's from The Reading Teacher journal. I'm thinking of subscribing to International Reading Association specifically to have access to useful resources like this.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:28 PM
EdEd EdEd is online now
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I think the issue with silent reading accountability is one of the two major issues with silent reading, the first being loss of instructional time when a teacher could engage in more active instruction. But, if your sense is that kids are both being compliant with silent reading and benefiting from it, accountability is probably not an issue.

On the other hand, if accountability is an issue, I'd suggest dropping silent reading altogether. In that situation kids clearly aren't motivated to read independently, and proving reading occurred would be more trouble than its worth. All of this on top of the issue that silent reading just eats up already limited class time.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:37 PM
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yellowdaisies yellowdaisies is online now
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5th grade teacher
My kids read during centers - the read to self center. (I do a modified Daily 5). I did not set this up as well as I could have this year - I want to be more strictly Daily 5 next year. (Building up stamina, choosing just right books, etc.) I am absolutely positive that the majority of my students are reading, because I hear them doing it. (They whisper read - this is first grade.) I do have a few struggling students who can't read a lot of the books they choose, but they usually balance those out with easier books they can read.

In first grade, I just want them to have access to books. I teach in a low income community and many of my students do not have their own books at home (though some do! Don't want to overgeneralize.) I want them to learn to love books, appreciate books, and experience books. I have spent hundreds of dollars building a classroom library from scratch this year because it is SO important to me that my kids get to experience all kinds of books as they are becoming budding readers. I do not consider read to self time to be a waste at all.

I am going to start doing some book club type set ups with some of my higher readers to increase comprehension practice. They will have some sheets to fill out with those books. But I don't want to take away their reading for pleasure time. I don't want reading to always feel like a school assignment for them. I was a voracious reader as a kid and I really think I would have hated having to write about everything I read - it would have felt like it was work all the time instead of reading for fun.

HOWEVER, I am in first grade. I will readily admit that things are a lot different down here than they are in upper elementary. That's why I love it here.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:55 AM
EMonkey EMonkey is offline
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I know I would have been seriously annoyed in grade school if I was required to write down what I read every day during silent reading time. It sounds to me like a sad statement of distrust that people, first, think the teachers are not aware of who is and isn't reading and a sad statement of general distrust of the children. If the teacher in a classroom wanted to do it then it would be based on her/his student's needs coming from above it is a lack of trust that children in general will want to read.

Anyway, I agree with EdEd.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2013, 04:37 AM
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KinderCowgirl KinderCowgirl is offline
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The Book Whisperer really opened my eyes to how much we kill the passion for reading in kids and how important actually giving them time to read is. It's 15 minutes-would it really be harmful if they weren't really reading at this time? I think it's sad we are always asking kids to read to answer questions instead of just reading to read for the enjoyment of it.
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