Sustained Silent Reading

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ayotte04, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jun 12, 2007

    SSR as it were...was something I found that was pushed in the districts I worked. While teachers liked the concept they struggled to find time to squeeze it into a 45 min period.

    How important do you think this is (particularly Eng & History)? How do you use this technique? How often should this be done?
     
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  3. mrduck12

    mrduck12 Companion

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Brain based research shows an attention span of about 15-20 minutes for most adolescents. That is enough time to use it as a warm up. I've tried to use it for a period closer, and it just doesn't work at all. Anything more than that amount of time and it just becomes a battle.
     
  4. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Oh yes...I wouldn't dream of doing it more than about 10-15 min. I noticed that it is a great way to calm the students down and get them "focused and ready" for instruction. I just wasn't sure how regularly people are using it.
     
  5. Idateacher

    Idateacher New Member

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    Jun 18, 2007

    I have used SSR for the past three years in my high school English classes. I begin class with a sponge activity (spelling, grammar, or journal), then let them read for about 30 minutes, and finish the period with a response journal or a group discussion over their books. I found that 10-15 minutes was too short. They would begin reading and just when they had settled into their book or were getting interested again, we would have to stop. 30-35 minutes is just enough time for my sophomores and for me. I also sit down with them and read my own book to model. I found that helped tremendously. On a side note, my high school English department also conducts the Nelson/Denny reading test in the fall and spring, and my students scores usually go up 2 grade levels. They didn't raise that much prior to my bringing SSR into my program.
     
  6. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 19, 2007

    I worked with a LA arts teacher who had the 45 minute classes, and she did the neatest thing with SSR. She "saved it" for Fridays, and on Fridays she would do any housekeeping (quiz, review, announcements, etc) for about 10 minutes, and then the rest of the period the students read. She encouraged them to get comfortable, played soft background music, and lit candles. She and the kids looked forward to it all week.
     
  7. hapyeaster

    hapyeaster Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2007

    SSR for us is mainly AR....

    First off, I teach 8th grade Language Arts in an At Risk school. Last year, we tried to do 15 minutes per period (45-50 min classes) and I did not find it effective. I tried it as a warm-up, and as a closer for the class period. I found most of my students were unprepared, did not have their book, or wanted to change their book. I have a great class library, and they were to pick from their to read if they did not have their AR book, but by that time they had maybe 10 minutes....if they played it right, they could weasle out of reading just about every day. Plus, it left shorter amounts of time for me to get into a lesson for that day.

    So, I am leaning toward 2 days per week for nothing but reading. One day will be our library day, and after we return to class, they are to read. The other day will be used for SSR or Reader's Workshop, time for me to check the status of the class, and a reading response.

    I truly believe that kids need to have the time to read, and if I want to see their levels go up, I need to be able to work with them in longer chunks of time. I have not run this by my administration yet, but I am hoping it will fly.

    I just attended a Reading Renaissance workshop, we will have Enterprise this year, and I will have access to vocabulary and literacy quizzes as well. I just have so many ideas in my head, it is hard to shut my brain off. :p
     
  8. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2007

    If we want students to value independent reading, we have to give them time to do it. I did it with two different groups for two full class periods a week (45 minutes). We came up with reading expectations as a class, put them on the wall, and it was great. I let my students get comfortable as long as they meet the expectations, if not, individuals wind up out from under my desk/podium and back in their seats.

    Can I also point out that I'm selfish about IR (Independent Reading) because it gives me time to read books as well? (Unless I use the time to speak the students)
     

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