Sunday, September 21, 2014

Building Silent Reading Stamina

We have been working on building silent reading stamina in my class over the last two weeks.  I’m not implementing the full version of Daily Five just yet as I haven’t been trained, but I am borrowing the Two Sisters’ idea of building stamina during silent reading time. I’ve heard amazing things about the program from several teachers of all grade levels and I intend on reading up on the program this school year.

I decided to try the silent reading aspect of the program with my 27 third grade students. At first, I didn’t know what to expect, but I made sure the students knew the basics of the program.  They have to be reading and settled in a spot anywhere in the room.  They are not allowed to walk around or exchange books during the reading time. Every student had to be reading.  Talking, laughing and looking around the class during this time is not allowed.  Students need more than one book to prevent any breakdown in the system.

I review the appropriate way of silent reading every day before we begin.  There have been ebbs and flows but they get so excited when the reading time improves from the previous day.  I am going to continue this model for the rest of the year.

As you can see from the photos, I have some lamps in my class.  I turn the overhead lights down and put all the class lamps on during Silent Reading time.  I want the students to get the understanding this time is special.  It’s almost like our class evolves into one huge study area. 

My class library is a suitable place for the students to read but they have the option to read anywhere in the classroom.  I have a rotational system of students using the pillows.  The rotation consists of five students getting the pillows and the next five and so on…  A very special treat is when students get to read in my Chair of Excellence. 

I knew this concept of building stamina would be a struggle but I was all in!  I also knew it would take patience, understanding and discipline on my part. Here is a breakdown of the first ten days:

As you can see, the beginning of the reading stamina had some ups and downs as well as the ending. The listed times on my board are all over the place but I think that’s normal.  This program takes a lot of buy in from the students and the teacher.  

In the past, students were less settled in and more restless during silent reading time.  Now…I feel they are putting their best foot forward. I am looking forward to this week's results!

Has anybody else worked on building silent reading stamina?  How has the approach been working out for you and your class?  

Thanks a million,



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