Ashley Thompson
Growing Independence and Fluency

Quiet·Silent Reading

Rational: 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 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.

Materials: One book per student. (The student should choose the books and teacher must make sure that the book is at the student reading level.)

Procedure:
1. ãToday we are going to learn how to read silently. Silent reading can be fun and you will find that you will understand more about what you are reading when there are less distractions.ä
2. ãHow many of you have ever picked out a book by yourself? Well, today we are going to go to the library and let you chose a book to read to yourself. To make sure that you like the one that you chose I want you to read a couple of the first pages. Make sure that you do not choose the book just by looking at the pictures. Letâs also look at the number of pages and letâs pick a book that is not too long.ä
3. After choosing the book let the student read a couple of sentences to make sure that the book is on their reading level. Help make any changes in selections if necessary. ãNow that everyone has chosen their books we are going to go back to the classroom and talk about reading silently.ä
4. ãReading silently is even quieter than whisper reading you are the only person that can hear the words. Letâs practice by starting off whisper reading. Does everyone remember how to whisper read? (Teacher models and allows time for students to practice.) Now I want you to read even quieter. Move only your lips but make sure that no words come out. Letâs practice this by saying the ABCâs by only moving our lips. Good job. Now letâs think about the letters and not move our lips or make any sound. (Allow time for students to think.) This is like silent reading. You say the words to yourself and you are the only person that can hear them. Everyone watch as I read silently. (You should read at your desk silently.) Now letâs take the book that you chose and begin to read silently. (Allow about 15 minutes for the students to read.)
5. Discuss with children why you read silently and why they should.  Tell them when they read silently, they can concentrate and really remember what they read.  Also, they can read faster when they read "in their heads."
6. For assessment, note children's attitudes by checking whether they seem involved or distracted and whether they look forward to or complain about silent reading time.  Ask question to check for reading comprehension.  Also, ask students to summarize what they read by letting them write in their journals or by telling the rest of the class about what they read.

Reference: Eldredge, J. L. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., Chapter 9.

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