Read It In Your Head

Bliss Ramsey
Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  To increase volunteer reading, reading fluency and comprehension, students must learn to read silently.  When learning to silent read it is crucial to explain the how and why silent reading is accomplished.  In this lesson I will explain the steps students need to take in order to grasp reading silently.  They will read decodable books of their choice from a variety of previously selected books.  In this lesson children are encouraged to read with fluency and comprehension.

Materials:  Parish, Peggy. Teach Us Amelia, Bedelia. Scholastic Inc. c1977. 56pp., bookmarks on crosschecking and train your brain to read, and library of decodable books

1) Ask students: Have you ever seen signs in the library or around our school that say, "Please read silently or quietly" or is it difficult for you to read and understand a book when you hear other voices talking and reading aloud?  It is very easy to get distracted when you are trying to read and other things are going on loudly around you.  The only solution to limiting distraction and following the school rules is to learn to read silently.
2) It takes practice to get good at reading silently.  The method that helped me was three simple steps to follow.  The first step is to whisper read, listen when I whisper the first two sentences of Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia: "The telephone was ringing. 'I'm coming, I'm coming,' said Amelia Bedelia."  Notice that you could barely hear me reading because I was whispering.  The next step is to read without making a sound but you move your lips as you read.  Watch as I read the same passage and this time I will just move my lips.  "The telephone was ringing. 'I'm coming, I'm coming,' said Amelia Bedelia.  Did you see, or more importantly did you hear the difference?  The final step is reading silently, this is when you read to yourself in your head without moving your lips, whispering or making any other sound.  Now watch as I silent read.
3) When reading silently, you will most likely come across some words that you do not recognize.  When this happens, simply pull out our cross-checking bookmark to help you.  First, try to blend the phonemes together to get the correct pronunciation.  Second, try to read the rest of the sentence to cross check.  Third use cover-ups.  Last go back and reread the sentence to practice the word and get back into the book.
4) Now tell the students to go over to the class library, that contains previously selected decodable books, and find a book that you would like to read.  Then sit wherever you want so that you are comfortable, but remember not to sit too close to your friends so you will not be tempted to talk.  Please do not pick a book that is too difficult for you, and to make sure the book is at your level give it the two finger check.  Remember if there are two words that you do not know on a page then the book most likely is too hard for you.  I want everyone to read their book using the new method of silent reading.
5) Before you go get your book, I am going to pass out a bookmark called 'train your brain to read.' This gives you helpful hints to comprehend what you are reading.  For example this will give you 'teacher like questions' to answer or think about as you read.  (Pass out bookmarks and send students on their way to read silently)

Assessment:  I will walk around with a check list consisting of: Is the child reading silently, whispering or moving their lips?  I will check off what I see when observing each child.  I will also assess children's comprehension by using a numbered heads together method.  I will group the students in fours and number them off 1-4.  I will call the numbers one at a time to answer questions and tell me about their book they read.  Example:  I will ask all the twos to stand up and one at a time tell me about the book they read.  I will continue doing this until I have heard from all the students, to be able to fully assess their understanding of their book they silently read.

Some ideas adapted from:  The Reading Genie Website.  Specifically Dana Davis' 'Words in my Head at:
Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  New Jersey.  Prentice Hall, Inc.

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