April 21, 2004
Some of my students were less than excited about SSR time. I found that often students were pretending to read but were really just turning the pages, with little or no comprehension of the story. Now I buy students a spiral notebook or sometimes a local business donates them for my class. The kids read a book of their choice silently for ten minutes, and then they write a summary in their journal for five minutes. The kids know they will have to be accountable for knowing what happened in the story, so comprehension is increased and their sentence writing, grammar, spelling, etc. improves greatly with the writing practice. I have a different 5 students turn their journals in each day to be checked. That way I check each student's writing at least once a week but I am not loaded down with the entire group's to check every day. Students who need more help turn theirs in daily if I see the need. Parents have told me that they have seen an increase in reading at home, too. Students who otherwise would not consider reading for enjoyment are finding that books can be interesting!