Daily Schedule

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Daily Quiet Reading Time

Quiet reading is one of the most precious times of the day. This is the time that children self-select books for independent reading. It is a tradition in many schools, and it can go by many names, including SSR (Sustained Silent Reading), DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), and FVR (Free Voluntary Reading).

In our class, at least 15 minutes is spent in absolute silence because of my "one child, one book" rule. Then there is a signal that it is "buddy reading" time. Children read to each other, or look at pictures together. Sometimes a child will find himself reading to several children at once. Quiet reading is the time I take to read one-on-one with children - always informally and formally assessing their skills. Many times, however, I sink into a book of my own.

In the not-so-distant past, some people questioned the value of having a time set aside for quiet reading. They wondered if it wasn't a bit of a "waste", and that direct instruction would be more worthwhile. Fortunately, there has been much research that supports the value of quiet reading time, as it:

* Increases children enjoyment of books, and they have a better attitude about reading

* Develops skills, such as spelling, comprehension, and vocabulary

* Increases reading speed

I would also argue that there are socio-emotional benefits as well. Children feel empowered because they are allowed to read what they are interested in, and there are a lot of good feelings generated when cuddled with some friends with shared interests. It is also just a sweet, quiet time where children can be calm and relaxed.

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