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Silent Sustained reading is a valuable activity for a senior elective class. At the end of the 1st term, I shared the following with my students. The students have a few questions to answer and to share. I am excited for the feedback.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and the Last Lecture are great books to compliment a high school Psychology or Sociology class. The books focus on the intrapersonal personal intelligence (Habits 1, 2, & 3) and the intrapersonal intelligence (Habits 4, 5, & 6).

There are many ways to teach a book, however in a senior elective, the Silent Sustained Reading approach is a great option. Students read the book in class for short periods of time (20 – 30 minutes) occasionally in class. Students record their progress using a SSR reading chart.

The benefits of this approach are:

  • Personalized Learning: Students in a high school senior elective come from various backgrounds, independent reading allow students with varying reading levels to progress at their own pace.

  • Focused Reading: Reading as a class at times is beneficial, however, many students can seem to be disengaged. Independent reading allows the students to focus solely on the reading.

  • Develop and Improve Reading Skills: Any time a student reads it is worthwhile. Students reading independently requires focus. Also when completed effectively, up to 30 – 35 individuals are reading at the same time. If a class reads for 30 minutes a week, the total reading time is between 900 – 1,050 combined minutes for the class. That is GREAT!

  • Develop a Life-Long Love of Reading: Reading is fundamental! It is worth trying to develop in each student an appreciation for the importance of reading. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and the Last Lecture are books that help teens make personal connections. Hopefully these books will spark an interest in additional independent reading.

Student Questions

  1. Describe your experience so far with Silent Sustained Reading. Given the fact that reading is necessary in school, do you prefer reading quietly and independently or collectively as a class? Some questions to consider:

    1. Are you more focused when you read independently or as a class?

    2. Do you have any anxiety about reading out loud in class? If so what are your concerns, be specific.

    3. When participating as a class reading of a book, do you stay with the text when others are reading or do you daydream, text, read ahead, or simply have difficulty stay focused?

  2. In TWO PARAGRAPHS, comment on the book so far. How do you like it? Can you make any personal connections that you could apply to your everyday life?

General Questions:

  1. How many hours PER WEEK do you spend completing homework?

  2. How many hours a week do you read OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL DAY? The time should include books you read for school?

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