Quiet Please! I'm Reading With My Brain!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Lauren Odell


Rationale: In order for children to become independent and fluent readers, they need to be able to read both orally and silently. Reading silently is an important goal for all students and helps to build a love for voluntary reading.  Once children have mastered decoding words and are working on building their sight vocabulary, fluency is the next step to becoming successful readers.  Reading silently will help children to become more fluent and reading will become easier and automatic for them. Giving the children the option to chose their own books  helps to make reading voluntary and fun.


Books in the classroom that are decodable and different reading level sufficient
Color stickers that will be put on the books (different color for each level)
Color stickers that will be given to each child (corresponding to each reading level)
Reading journal for each child Paper for each reading journal
Pencil for each child
Progress Checklist:
                    ___ Reads orally
                    ___Reads in a whisper
                    ___Reads while moving lips
                    ___Reads silently
3 Sentence strips with these sentences written on each
      1. The frog jumped in the lake.
      2. The cat had a nap in the sun.
      3. I wish I had a farm.
Reading journal for each child



 1. Beginning and Introduction:

-Put color coded stickers on each reading level book.
-Give each child a sticker that corresponds to the reading level books they should choose.

-Encourage the children to pick out a book they have never read.

-"I want each row, to come up when I call them. You will be picking out a book from the color sticker that you have been given. For example, if I was given a blue sticker, I will go over to the blue sticker collection to select a book. I am going to look for a book that looks interesting, and a book that I have never read before."

2.  Introduce the idea of silent reading.

"Today we are going to read silently to ourselves.  Sometimes we need to be quiet so we don't disrupt each other. Today we are going to read silently, and then write about what we read."

        "We have always learned to read out loud so that we can think out loud about what we are reading, but now we are going to read silently and let our brain think quietly about what we are reading."

3. Model reading out loud, in a whisper, with lips, and silently.

Write a sentence on the board and model (start by reading with less fluency, then get better as you read): The dog jumped in the mud.

                          1. Reading out loud

                           2. Reading in a whisper

                           3. Reading with just moving lips

                           4. Read silently

"I am going to read this sentence how we have always read, out loud. Thee ffrrooogg juummped iiin thee llaakke."

"Now I am going to still read out loud but I am going to lower my voice…watch my lips, you can still see them moving. "Thee ffrrooogg jumped iin thee llaakke".

"Now I am going to still read, but I am not going to make a sound, I am just going to move my lips…"Thee ffrrooogg jummmped iin thee llaake."

"This last time, I am going to read without moving my lips and without using my voice. I am going to let my brain read the words."

          "Oh, it says "The frog jumped in the lake."

"Did you see how I still read the sentence but my voice didn't make a sound?  I was so quiet you could hear a cricket outside!"

 4. Ask students to read a sentence with you

"Let's read a sentence together, like I just did." (Sentence: The cat had a nap in the sun.)

"Together let's read the sentence out loud" (point to each word as you are saying it). "The cat had a nap in the sun."

"Great! Now let's try to say it in a whisper. The cat had a nap in the sun"

 "Okay, now let's try to only move our lips..we want to be able to hear a cricket outside.  Move your lips with me, but turn voice off. Here we go. The cat had a nap in the sun."

          "Great job!"

          "Now let your brain read the sentence quietly."

          "Where did the cat have a nap?" (in the sun)

 5. Provide a sentence and ask the students to read it silently.

"This time we are only going to let our brain read the sentence. Here it is: I wish I had a farm.  Okay…don't use your voice. Just read it in your brain."

          "Altogether, what did our sentence say? I wish I had a farm. Great!"

  6. Instruct children to read their own book silently.

"Now is your turn to read the book that you have chosen. You each are going to read it at your desk silently. Remember that in order to remember what is happening, you brain has to look at the words and read them. Just because your lips aren't moving, doesn't mean that you're not reading and remembering. If you feel like what you're reading doesn't make sense, go back and crosscheck yourself. Crosschecking means reread the sentence again to see if you missed a word or meaning."

"After you are finished with your book, you will write in your reading journal about the story that you have read."


Teacher will be watching each student to see if he/she is silently reading.  This assessment will not be sufficient. Teacher will read each child's reading journal to see if he/she comprehends the text that they have chosen. A checklist will also be used to monitor each child's silent reading progress.

___ Reads orally
___Reads in a whisper
___Reads while moving lips
___Reads silently


"I Heard a Cricket" by Caroline Yow  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/projects/yowgf.html

"Sshhhh! Quiet ad a Christmas Mouse!" by Adriane Harden


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