As I look at EBSCO articles discussing research that say SSR is the best thing ever and as I read articles declaring its ineffectiveness I am left believing that the best way to decide what is true is to do it myself and see how kids respond. Do I see kids “fake reading” as I know happened in my school and happens frequently? If this is the case, they will obviously not improve without some accountability and structure. I like one method that I’ve discovered called SSR R5 (Read, relax, reflect, respond, rap). There is a set structure for silent reading and it sounds fun. Peer sharing and teacher conferencing are also useful tools in this program. I am going to spend some time looking for more information about SSR R5. I hope to find good description of it on YouTube or NPR so that it isn’t just another text to go through. Ironic, when someone talking about the benefits of silent reading is getting sick of reading! Still, I would be overwhelmed by research if it wasn’t for my strong reading background, and kids need that to succeed in upper level scholing. Just an update….I will post my final paper response to this research on the blog soon.
Overall, I’ve found myself shifting from a huge proponent of SSR for all students to wondering if it is really beneficial to the majority who aren’t amazing readers to begin with. I still think silent reading is important to include in school, but I think that teachers need to know what students are reading and help them make good choices in what and how they read, while still giving them choices.