It is important that when we give students silent reading time that it is meaningful and purposeful. We try, in my classroom, to silent read daily for 15-20 minutes depending on our schedule, and what our "must dos" are for the day.
Students are reading their monthly self selected (with teacher guidance) novels, a free choice novel or non-fiction from our class library. I give them a reading focus for the day based on our current reading or writing focus.
- Sometimes I ask them to find a word that is new to them or that they feel would be new to the class, define it and put it up on our word wall.
- Other times I give them a sticky note and ask the students to practice a reading strategy: making connections, inferring, predictions, summary, 3 new facts etc.
- Have reading conferences with students during your daily silent reading time to find out exactly what they are reading, when they are reading and their thoughts and opinions on the novel. You can find out a lot more by talking to students than always having them hand in paper.
- Use silent reading time to work with a guided reading group in your classroom. They do not all have to be reading the same novel, just working on the same strategy.
What do you do in your classroom to make silent reading meaningful for your students? How do you hold them accountable?
I love comments so feel free to leave one below.
My Book Suggestions for Middle School Students