All too often the poorest readers learn that if they keep quiet during sustained silent reading (SSR), they're doing okay—no reading required. This is especially true in middle school where class sizes are large and instructional emphasis is on content rather than reading. In Are They Really Reading?, Jodi Crum Marshall discusses how to find out if your students are using SSR time wisely and what to do about it if they're not. Her book describes how to support middle-grade readers who need it the most, while embracing a research-proven need to increase independent, self-selected reading time for students.
Jodi shares lessons and anecdotes from her classroom and from her experience as a reading specialist implementing her model schoolwide. She expands the traditional concepts of SSR to include read-alouds, writing, and accountability to scaffold struggling middle-grade students. Bolstered by these additional supports, Jodi's students dramatically increased their interest and ability in reading through a program they named Supporting Student Literacy (SSL).
Classroom teachers will appreciate the clear direction on how and why to implement an SSR program. Administrators will appreciate the guidance for establishing a schoolwide literacy block that substantially improves student motivation and learning.
Are They Really Reading? answers the following important questions:
- Why should I start an SSR program?
- How do I build a classroom library?
- Where do I get funding for books and other materials?
- How do I prepare the students for SSR?
- How do I motivate students to read?
- What is the role of the teacher?
- How do I assess SSR?
If you don't currently use a sustained silent reading program, this book will help you get started on the right track. If you worry that some of your students aren't really reading during SSR or if you want to enhance your program, here is a roadmap that is instructionally sound and flexible enough to fit your students' needs.