Before and After Thoughts

Rachel Owens 

Rationale:  An important goal for all students to achieve is voluntary reading.  By this stage of reading, students will be able to read familiar words at decode words at their reading level.  This activity incorporates silent reading with understanding and comprehension and gives students the opportunity to choose the book themselves.  Free reading time can be given on a daily basis to encourage silent, voluntary reading.


                 -Lee and the Team-Educational Insights

                        -A Cat Nap-Educational Insights

                        -Too Quiet for these Old Bones-by Tres Seymour





1.“Today we are going to be reading silently during our free reading time and everyone will be able to choose a book they like.”

2.“Why do we need to read silently?  First, it's fun.  Second, it helps us understand what we are reading better because we are able to concentrate more.  Third, we are able to read in many different places by reading silently.  Last, we are able to better imagine what the characters are experiencing and enjoy the book more.”

3.“Today, we are going to the library and everyone will get some time to choose a book.  Now, you may choose any book you like, but you need to remember some of the rules we use when we choose books.  You must choose a book that has you reading color dot on it (appropriate reading level) and not over 20 pages.  Make sure you have read a few pages form the book first before deciding if you like it.  Don't just rely on the pictures. Also, I will have to approve your book.”

4.(After everyone has chosen a book and you are back in the class)- Go over a KWL chart. “I want everyone to get out a sheet of paper. We are going to write when we read. I am going to read the title of my book and the author. I am going to look at the cover and try to guess what may happen. Then I am going to write this down on my paper. (Model this by actually reading it to the class, and write on the board what you wonder). Then I am will open the book, and read a few pages. I will then stop, and write down what I have learned so far, what I am wondering about in this book, and any questions I have so far. I want you guys to do this today when you read silently. Remember silent reading is to yourself. There is not going to be much talking. I want you to write on your paper like this after every few pages. This will help you keep your thoughts together while reading and it will help you understand the story better. We will not do this every time we read, but once we have the hang of it, we can start doing this in our mind, and asking ourselves questions about the book without writing them down. When you have finished your book, if you get done during our time, write down again what you learned from the story and any last questions you may have.”

5.Ok, so let’s get started with our DEAR time, Drop Everything And Read. I am going to be walking around the room making sure you are reading silently and writing your thoughts down on your paper.” Allow students to read for 15-20 min.


Assessment:  I will assess by walking around the room observing the students as the read silently and work on their charts. I will read through their charts as I walk by, but will not take them up because it is for their comprehension of the book.



Cooke, Kristin. DEAR! Drop Everything and Read.

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