making sure kids are reading
Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:01

Regina, the way schools have historically addressed this question is to ask more questions during or after the reading. That, however, replaces valuable reading time with assessment of reading time. Ask yourself when does reading work best for you? Probably when you have some choice, when it's your favorite author or a topic you love, when you're seated comfortably... Choice and control are key ingredients. Another thing is building reading muscles and finding materials that aren't too difficult. Common Core made everyone think they had to put children in grade level materials for all reading every day, something we've known since the early 1940's is a recipe for helping students who read below grade level never progress. So, find materials that are interesting and easy relative to a child's ability.

Finally, the muscles. Start small with independent reading and build slowly. In Oxford, NC with 7th graders who read mostly 1st to 3rd grade level with understanding, I brought in Jet Magazine (most of my students were African-American. I set a kitchen timer for 1 minute and announced that we would have 1 minute of silent reading time. Naturally the kids ignored me, so I repeated the task, reset the timer, and appeared to be reading as I watched over my book. A couple of kids whispered. I called them by name, re-explained the task, and reset the timer. I reset the timer half a dozen times before the class was quiet with noses in books. A couple of weeks in, when I was rarely resetting the timer, I increased to 2 minutes but did not tell them. We were at 20 minutes by March and stayed there. One student asked, "How do you know if we're reading?" I said, "I don't, but I know you're not reading when you're not looking at the book or talking, so you better read or look like you're reading if you don't want me to reset the timer." Try it out.

  • Whole-to-Part Theory of Reading - Regina, Wed Sep 9 22:12
    I haven't really thought about the process of silent reading and comprehension. Cunningham's model made me think about how important reading silently is. I teach second grade and my students... more
    • making sure kids are reading - koppenhaverd, Fri Sep 11 10:01
      • making sure kids are reading - Regina, Sat Sep 12 17:10
        Thank you for that advice...I will try that. One thing that I have learned from Dr. Gill is to make sure children are reading materials that are on their individual reading level. I make an effort to ... more
        • Re: making sure kids are reading - Amanda , Sun Sep 13 13:52
          Regina, Finding materials on level is hard for me too. I find that we have NO materials to amount to anything other than Reading A to Z materials, that they can take home much less use at school. I... more
    • Re: Whole-to-Part Theory of Reading - byrdaw, Thu Sep 10 21:04
      This article reminded me of the importance of silent reading. I enjoy listening to students read text aloud because it enables me to identify growth in prosody.When I ask my students to read silently ... more
    • Re: Whole-to-Part Theory of Reading - Candi, Thu Sep 10 15:07
      Teaching first grade, I feel that I have not really thought about silent reading. I also have my students self-select books on their level and read each day to themselves. I must say, I am guilty in... more
      • Read-to-Self and Comprehending - Melanie McLeod, Sat Sep 12 09:40
        Candi: I agree with you. It is quite difficult to truly know if our students are actually reading and comprehending when they work on Read-to-Self. It helps to have an assistant in your room at all... more
        • Re: Read-to-Self and Comprehending - Candi, Sun Sep 13 16:04
          Thanks Melanie! I will try this. I do have them record it and send it to me. I love the idea for them to echo read first.
      • 1st grade silent reading - koppenhaverd, Fri Sep 11 10:05
        Kids find it difficult to read silently until they can read a first grade level text with good understanding. So, you can encourage silent reading in your strugglers in primer or preprimer kinds of... more
        • Re: 1st grade silent reading - Candi , Sun Sep 13 16:08
          So if I have students reading and comprehending text in first grade, should I encourage silent reading more?
        • Re: 1st grade silent reading - Amanda , Sun Sep 13 13:58
          I usually listen to my daughter read her homework and the other night I told her to go ahead and start reading. While I was listening, I was in another room. All of a sudden it got quiet and I kept... more
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