Mary Ann Harbour
Growing Independence and Fluency Design

Shhhh…..Silent Reading

Rationale: In order to be a fluent reader, a child must be able to read aloud and silently to himself. To increase reading speed and comprehension, students need to learn to read silently. In this lesson, students will learn techniques to read silently. They will be reading decodable books of their choice( with independent reading level stickers).

Materials: Yellow(high reading level), red(middle reading level), and blue(lower reading level) stickers for Independent reading levels ; Books with Independent Reading level stickers on them ;Worksheet on cross-checking;   Pencil

1. I will introduce this lesson by discussing a book that I had previously read aloud to the class or a book that the students just finished reading on their own. I will say, “We all read that book aloud, but that is not the only way to read a book. Does anyone know another way we can read a book? We can read a book silently. This is kind of like talking to yourself, but do not say anything aloud.”
2. I will explain to children the benefits of silent reading. I will say, “Can you imagine if our whole class decided to read aloud at the same time? It would be noisy and confusing because everyone would be reading different words at different times. Silent reading allows all of us to read at whatever speed we can, and it is not confusing. It helps us to enjoy our own book without thinking about the others around us.”
3. Now, I will tell the children what to do if they come to a word that is not familiar to them. I will explain cover-up strategies to them. I will say, “If you come to a word that you do not know, cover-up the word letter by letter and see if you can figure it out that way. If you see a word in that word that you know, like sing in singing, that is helpful too. If you come to more than 2 words that you can not figure out, come tell me and we will get another book for you that is on your independent reading level.”
4. Then, I will model how I do cover-ups. I will put a big word on the board  like  /lead/er/ or /free/dom/. I will show them the importance of cover-ups and chunking.
5. I will also explain to my students about cross-checking. I will tell make sure that when they read silently that they read for comprehension and not just for speed. I will pass out a worksheet with sentences on it like: The cat barked when it found its bone. The children will go through these sentences on their own , and decide which ones make sense to them. Then, I will go over the right answers with the whole class and make sure that everyone understands. I will say to them, “It is important to remember to cross-check, or see if what you are reading makes sense, when you are reading silently.”
6.  I will then allow students to go to the book section of our room and pick out their books. I will say, “Boys and girls remember that this morning I gave each one of you a yellow, blue, or red sticker. You can choose any book you like depending on what color sticker you have. If you have a yellow sticker, you may choose any of the books with yellow stickers, etc. If you need help, just ask me and I will help you find a book.” Then, the students will find a seat wherever they want to in the room and read their book silently.
7. I will assess the children by observing them as they read. I will look at their silent reading techniques. I will also ask them questions about their books. Then, I will allow each child to go to the front of the room and share what their book was about. This is to make sure that they read it, and that they comprehended it.

References: Jennifer Ames “Listen to the Pin Drop”

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