I know I am playing catch up but still wanted to post my thoughts on Chapter 5. I am not new to the idea of Sustained Silent Reading. Before I taught Kindergarten I was a Teacher-Librarian and for a course I took I did a Sustained Silent Reading project (click for attachment). I know I have a number of great professional books on SSR but as one of my goals this summer is to catalog and organize all my books I was only able to find one: Building Student Literacy Through Sustained Silent Reading by Steve Gardiner. I love the program and had used it with older grades but it never crossed my mind to use in my Kindergarten class (JK/SK split ages 3-5). I was happy to read this chapter and it has given me a bit to think about on how I may be able to implement it in my current class.
- “Until it is explained, silent reading is sometimes a mystery to young children.” (page 81) At one point in my education I remember learning about the developmental stage when children are capable of internal thought. I can’t remember the age or stage but to me it connects to how young children feel like they always need to read out loud. I need to go back and research a bit to see at what age they are capable of reading ‘in their head’.
- My analytical mind really appreciated the ‘Fraction of Selection’ illustrations on page 84 and 85. I thought it was really ironic that as I was reading about the difficulties of distractions my daughters were practicing their tap dancing – just a bit of a distraction!
- I often see the summer slip with some of my student between JK and SK (they are usually in my class for 2 years). I really appreciated the comment by Trelease on page 88 that “the better readers don’t take the summer off and thus the gap widens”. As a parent I use the summer as my opportunity to work with my children myself, and even when we are not doing formal learning we are always exploring. As a teacher I find it so frustrating that some parents won’t even read with their children over the summer. Especially when it doesn’t take much: “reading of four to six books during summer was enough to alleviate summer loss” (6th graders)
- “The teacher stands before the class and daily gives mini-book talks based on the classroom library” (page 101). Another great idea I need to figure out how to fit in my day.
So I would love to hear how preK and K teachers use SSR in their classroom, please share your ideas. I am trying to figure out how to implement in my class next month when school starts back.