Reading time

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2017

    My students generally love to read. Usually, when we have silent reading time, everyone is focused and on task.

    Lately, though, with spring time here, I have five or so kids not causing problems, but just staring into space instead of reading. I have ended our reading time early because of this, because there's no point in wasting class time if they're not reading their books. I am starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to "if you're eyes aren't on your book, it's not really reading".

    Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Apr 6, 2017

    I would not stop reading time for the other 27 students due to 5 students not reading.
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 6, 2017

    This! Could you pull those 5 students to do a small group activity?
     
  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Apr 6, 2017

    First off, kudos to you for making sure your students read during silent reading! Failing to make sure kids are actually reading is a huge mistake.

    If I see a student not reading, I have several procedures. One is to point out the student needs to read and expect them to start. Another is to quietly read to the student from the student's book until I feel I have the student's interest, then tell the student to continue on his own to find out what happens next. If the student is a low reader, I may assign a buddy or parent volunteer to read aloud to the student, and have them take turns reading paragraphs or pages. Sometimes I'll have a buddy read aloud to the target student, then have the target student read the same material back.

    I think it's wonderful that you are aware of what your students are doing during silent reading.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2017

    Thanks everyone. I think I can pull these kids for small groups. I just dislike doing so because, when there's any talking in the room, it seems to pull more kids off task.

    I did start giving a few kids technology so that they could listen to a story being read aloud. That does help... but then everyone wants to do it.

    It does make me feel better to see this though:
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 6, 2017

    Why not engage those students in a discussion around what's on their mind? And then steer the discussion towards their book - maybe even identifying if their interest isn't as captured by that book as others. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about that self-reflective aspect of being a reader, and so much better than just a "you need to be reading" statement.

    Perhaps there's troubles at home, perhaps they're bored with their book, perhaps they need a different space that has fewer distractions...so many possibilities :) I'd even suggest 1-on-1 talks with each of them, not small group, as they're each different as readers. It might take a bit longer, but worth it in the end.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Apr 7, 2017

    Not to disagree with your observations, but I did think of another possibility that might be occurring. Because of the time of year, I'm wondering if rather than the students becoming distracted from reading, if instead the book is causing their mind to wander. They've progressed in learning all year, and so their brain is processing the material at a more advanced level. While they read, their brain begins to ponder what they've read and then it begins to daydream, connecting one thought to another, then another, and then another. Trying to think like a kid right now, I can imagine reading about knights fighting dragons and then drifting into a daydream about me fighting a dragon. During the daydream, my reading ability increases because everything I've read starts categorizing in that many more places in my brain.
     
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  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Apr 7, 2017

    I would have individual reading conferences with each of the five. Have a conversation about the book they are reading, check to see if they are comprehending the text, have them read aloud for a few pages to make sure they can read it accurately. They may just not be choosing good fit books and find the book they have boring/too hard.
     
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  10. WordLover

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    Apr 8, 2017

    You could have them write a few sentences in which they reflect and think about what they've read. Make the questions require critical thinking so they can't just quickly regurgitate content.Grade it as classwork. This holds them accountable for reading.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 8, 2017

    Still a good thought: but one has to be careful in doing this, and while balancing making sure that reading doesn't become an assignment or something that they'd rather not do as much of because of having to get graded at the end of it.
     
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  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Apr 9, 2017

    This is how I approach this reading time, and is why they mostly like it. They read their own books and sometimes will share by choice about what they read, but we don't do other assignments with the books. We do have other times when they partner read or read an assigned story, and they do assignments with those.
     
  13. Pashtun

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    Apr 9, 2017

    Just keep in mind, that if you are requiring them to read, holding them accountable to read..then it IS an assignment.
     
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 9, 2017

    I think the key is that it isn't blatantly so, and that it also depends on the mindset and thus attitude the teacher has. A teacher who holds students accountable for actually reading by telling them that they need to be reading two books a month or a certain number of minutes a day...probably will not be as successful as a teacher who holds students accountable by guiding them to find the reasons behind why they might not be reading, and then helping them identify books/stories that would interest and engage them. Both hold the same expectations, and yes, in all technicality, both times it's an "assignment", but the approach in the latter example makes it less of a "do this assignment because I tell you to do it" and more of a natural and authentic learning experience.

    Trust me, I've gone back and forth with that "but, reading is still an assignment with my approach..." thought: but realized that cutting out the unnecessary "assignments" that do nothing to help them and then focusing on that latter example for my interactions are truly what is making the difference.
     
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  15. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Apr 9, 2017

    What you describe here is called good teaching and applies to any and all aspects of life and has no special place with "reading", IMO.

    At the end of the day though, all advice given so far is going to be seen as an assignment by a certain number of students, as is likely by the 5 students in this post, who have been exposed to the "Book Whisperer" strategies by otterpop all year.

    Life is a constant flow of "assignments". My personal stance is students need to develop self-discipline and engage in good habits. Often times this means doing things that quite honeslty...one does not want to do.

    I do agree that if a teacher is not doing read alouds of a variety of books, encouraging and helping students find good books that individual students will enjoy, connecting analyzing literature to their independent reading..etc, then yes what you describe is needed. I just think most elementary teachers are encouraging students to read, good enjoyable books versus you must read for 30 minutes.
     
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