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*SSR*Sustained Silent Reading The ‘why,’ ‘what,’ and ‘how’ of an SSR program
The ‘Why’ of SSR Gardiner, S. (2001). Ten minutes a day for silent reading. Educational Leadership, 59(2), 32-35. • Classrooms in the United States have participated in SSR for more than 35 years. • 1960s, SSR • Lyman Hunt at the University of Vermont • 1970s, SSR gained popularity
The ‘What’ of SSR • Common guidelines of SSR: • Students should… • read silently each day • choose their own books • have uninterrupted time to read • be able to choose not to finish a book • observe the teacher model good reading habits • not be required to take tests or write book reports on what they read
Benefits of SSR • Some reading studies correlate daily reading opportunities with better work habits, social and emotional development, language structure, overall school performance, and… • significantly higher scores on standardized reading tests Arthur, J. E. (1995). What is the effect of recreational reading on reading achievement of middle grade students? (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 391 143)
More benefits… • Student interest in reading increases • One study showed an increase in 1.9 reading levels in an 18 week period of SSR • Six-week study of college students in an SSR program – same comprehension level, but their reading speed ^ from 210wpm > 348wpm
More? Yes. • 1978 study – readers learn new vocabulary simply by reading books • Without knowing they’d be tested on vocabulary, adults read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and scored from 50%-96% on vocabulary words the author created especially for the book & these words were repeated an avg. of 15X in the book
Improved vocabulary • In a typical middle school SSR program, most middle school students can read 1 million words and learn 1,000 new words each year without any direct instruction in vocabulary. (Krashen, 1993)
Gardiner’s class • Students in sophomore honors class read 2-56 books/year and avg. of 9.8 books/semester. • “SSR…got me back into reading. Before this class, I hadn’t picked up a book unless it was required reading.” • SSR was “more like an adult English class. We were able to choose what we wanted to read.” • “Silent reading helps me relax and escape from reality.” • Some complained because SSR time was too short!
SSR may look different in each classroom • My students read 10 min/day at the beginning of class. • Non-integrated, 45 min. class • Now with Reading and English class integrated for a 90 min. English Language Arts class, SSR will be longer > 15 – 30 minutes
SSR requirements for my class • Students must come to class with their own novels. • Once/week book check for a daily grade • Library visit every 2 weeks for new books – faster readers – more often
Reluctant readers? • Work with them & find out what subjects they like, work with the librarian, etc. • Be patient and encouraging • Consider graphic novels • Reluctant and low readers benefit from SSR with gentle guidance toward high interest books for them
Is there an assignment with SSR? • Not every day& I do model SSR • Benefits • Students will follow your lead. • You can have book discussions with students. • You can stay in tune with what they’re reading and can recommend books to them. • *The Power of Teacher Recommendation*
Variety of SSR responses • How does your book relate to the E.Q. (Essential Question)? • Write what you don’t like about the main character & what you like • What’s the conflict in the section you read today? • Compare/contrast your book with what we’re reading in class (poem, short story, nonfiction reading, etc.) • Turn to a partner and share the most exciting part of your book so far (or the biggest surprise, etc.) • How would you change the protagonist’s actions, if you could? • Online response to a SchoolWeb forum • Share with your group whether you’d recommend this book or not and why. • I change these responses frequently so students won’t get bored and to make sure they’re thinking about the book and not just telling a summary of the book – • My SSR responses connect with literary elements they need to learn in my class.
SSR sample from Ramona Lowe **See handout** Any questions?