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Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended for elementary teachers, middle and high school teachers adapted some of the ideas to help older students as well, and at least one of the steps subsequently found its way into South Carolina state standards up through 12 th grade. Hunt labeled this particular step “USSR” for “Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading,” and one of my colleagues remembers referring to it during the Cold War era as “Russian Reading” because of the initials. Although the USSR is no longer with us as a political entity and Hunt’s acronym has been shortened to “SSR,” the idea of having students use chunks of class time for pleasure reading has endured, enjoying varying degrees of popularity through all grade levels. This practice is not, however, without controversy. The National Reading Panel (NRP) concluded in 2000 that there was insufficient evidence to support SSR as an effective practice, and Timothy Shanahan (2006a), a member of the panel, used his position as President of the International Reading Association to warn teachers against devoting class time to SSR. Stephen Krashen (2001), however, argues that the NRP failed to consider numerous relevant studies, and that they misinterpreted some of the studies they did include; Michael Shaw (2006) implies that Shanahan simply misses the point of how SSR works. What, then, is a classroom teacher to do about SSR? In my conversations with middle school and high school ELA teachers, I have heard about both positive and negative experiences with SSR, yet even teachers with positive experiences seem reluctant to use it in the current climate of “research-based, data- driven” practice. My goal is not to persuade skeptics to embrace SSR; rather, for those teachers who want to use SSR, and for those who might like to give it a try, I offer a justification, based on a broader view of what should “count” as relevant research.

2 Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended for elementary teachers, middle and high school teachers adapted some of the ideas to help older students as well, and at least one of the steps subsequently found its way into South Carolina state standards up through 12 th grade. Hunt labeled this particular step “USSR” for “Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading,” and one of my colleagues remembers referring to it during the Cold War era as “Russian Reading” because of the initials. Although the USSR is no longer with us as a political entity and Hunt’s acronym has been shortened to “SSR,” the idea of having students use chunks of class time for pleasure reading has endured, enjoying varying degrees of popularity through all grade levels. This practice is not, however, without controversy. The National Reading Panel (NRP) concluded in 2000 that there was insufficient evidence to support SSR as an effective practice, and Timothy Shanahan (2006a), a member of the panel, used his position as President of the International Reading Association to warn teachers against devoting class time to SSR. Stephen Krashen (2001), however, argues that the NRP failed to consider numerous relevant studies, and that they misinterpreted some of the studies they did include; Michael Shaw (2006) implies that Shanahan simply misses the point of how SSR works. What, then, is a classroom teacher to do about SSR? In my conversations with middle school and high school ELA teachers, I have heard about both positive and negative experiences with SSR, yet even teachers with positive experiences seem reluctant to use it in the current climate of “research-based, data- driven” practice. My goal is not to persuade skeptics to embrace SSR; rather, for those teachers who want to use SSR, and for those who might like to give it a try, I offer a justification, based on a broader view of what should “count” as relevant research.

3 Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended for elementary teachers, middle and high school teachers adapted some of the ideas to help older students as well, and at least one of the steps subsequently found its way into South Carolina state standards up through 12 th grade. Hunt labeled this particular step “USSR” for “Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading,” and one of my colleagues remembers referring to it during the Cold War era as “Russian Reading” because of the initials. Although the USSR is no longer with us as a political entity and Hunt’s acronym has been shortened to “SSR,” the idea of having students use chunks of class time for pleasure reading has endured, enjoying varying degrees of popularity through all grade levels. This practice is not, however, without controversy. The National Reading Panel (NRP) concluded in 2000 that there was insufficient evidence to support SSR as an effective practice, and Timothy Shanahan (2006a), a member of the panel, used his position as President of the International Reading Association to warn teachers against devoting class time to SSR. Stephen Krashen (2001), however, argues that the NRP failed to consider numerous relevant studies, and that they misinterpreted some of the studies they did include; Michael Shaw (2006) implies that Shanahan simply misses the point of how SSR works. What, then, is a classroom teacher to do about SSR? In my conversations with middle school and high school ELA teachers, I have heard about both positive and negative experiences with SSR, yet even teachers with positive experiences seem reluctant to use it in the current climate of “research-based, data- driven” practice. My goal is not to persuade skeptics to embrace SSR; rather, for those teachers who want to use SSR, and for those who might like to give it a try, I offer a justification, based on a broader view of what should “count” as relevant research.

4 Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended for elementary teachers, middle and high school teachers adapted some of the ideas to help older students as well, and at least one of the steps subsequently found its way into South Carolina state standards up through 12 th grade. Hunt labeled this particular step “USSR” for “Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading,” and one of my colleagues remembers referring to it during the Cold War era as “Russian Reading” because of the initials. Although the USSR is no longer with us as a political entity and Hunt’s acronym has been shortened to “SSR,” the idea of having students use chunks of class time for pleasure reading has endured, enjoying varying degrees of popularity through all grade levels. This practice is not, however, without controversy. The National Reading Panel (NRP) concluded in 2000 that there was insufficient evidence to support SSR as an effective practice, and Timothy Shanahan (2006a), a member of the panel, used his position as President of the International Reading Association to warn teachers against devoting class time to SSR. Stephen Krashen (2001), however, argues that the NRP failed to consider numerous relevant studies, and that they misinterpreted some of the studies they did include; Michael Shaw (2006) implies that Shanahan simply misses the point of how SSR works. What, then, is a classroom teacher to do about SSR? In my conversations with middle school and high school ELA teachers, I have heard about both positive and negative experiences with SSR, yet even teachers with positive experiences seem reluctant to use it in the current climate of “research-based, data- driven” practice. My goal is not to persuade skeptics to embrace SSR; rather, for those teachers who want to use SSR, and for those who might like to give it a try, I offer a justification, based on a broader view of what should “count” as relevant research.

5 Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading In 1971, Lyman Hunt offered a six-step plan to help students become better readers. Although the plan was intended for elementary teachers, middle and high school teachers adapted some of the ideas to help older students as well, and at least one of the steps subsequently found its way into South Carolina state standards up through 12 th grade. Hunt labeled this particular step “USSR” for “Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading,” and one of my colleagues remembers referring to it during the Cold War era as “Russian Reading” because of the initials. Although the USSR is no longer with us as a political entity and Hunt’s acronym has been shortened to “SSR,” the idea of having students use chunks of class time for pleasure reading has endured, enjoying varying degrees of popularity through all grade levels. This practice is not, however, without controversy. The National Reading Panel (NRP) concluded in 2000 that there was insufficient evidence to support SSR as an effective practice, and Timothy Shanahan (2006a), a member of the panel, used his position as President of the International Reading Association to warn teachers against devoting class time to SSR. Stephen Krashen (2001), however, argues that the NRP failed to consider numerous relevant studies, and that they misinterpreted some of the studies they did include; Michael Shaw (2006) implies that Shanahan simply misses the point of how SSR works. What, then, is a classroom teacher to do about SSR? In my conversations with middle school and high school ELA teachers, I have heard about both positive and negative experiences with SSR, yet even teachers with positive experiences seem reluctant to use it in the current climate of “research-based, data- driven” practice. My goal is not to persuade skeptics to embrace SSR; rather, for those teachers who want to use SSR, and for those who might like to give it a try, I offer a justification, based on a broader view of what should “count” as relevant research.

6 Finding Value in Sustained Silent Reading Defining SSR (offers a definition) The Research Question: Is SSR Effective? (reviews the research) The Value Question: What is SSR Worth? (explains possible benefits) Whether to Implement: Objections and Responses (lists objections and answers each one) One Other Consideration (offers one additional benefit) Making the Call on SSR (reviews evidence and draws conclusion)

7 One objection is that SSR doesn’t look like teaching. Tom Newkirk (in Henry 1995) tells the story of a time when a riot broke out in his high school, yet while other classrooms were emptying as students joined the riot, his students stayed in their seats to continue reading their self-selected novels. The principal was running from class to class in a vain effort to stem the exodus, yet rather than compliment Newkirk on having such good control, he told him to start teaching. Granted, the story is decades old, but my conversations with teachers suggest that plenty of people still view silent reading of self-selected materials as inappropriate for the classroom. The problem here is not with the practice, but with the perception. For some reason, few people would complain about having students use fifteen or twenty minutes of class time to take a test, write a paper, or do research on a computer, yet each of those activities is a quiet, individual activity that the teacher simply observes – exactly as is the case with SSR. We merely need to recognize that reading – just like taking a test, writing, or researching – is an intellectual activity appropriate to the classroom.

8 Topic Sentence – In this case, one of the “objections.”

9 One objection is that SSR doesn’t look like teaching. Tom Newkirk (in Henry 1995) tells the story of a time when a riot broke out in his high school, yet while other classrooms were emptying as students joined the riot, his students stayed in their seats to continue reading their self-selected novels. The principal was running from class to class in a vain effort to stem the exodus, yet rather than compliment Newkirk on having such good control, he told him to start teaching. Granted, the story is decades old, but my conversations with teachers suggest that plenty of people still view silent reading of self-selected materials as inappropriate for the classroom. The problem here is not with the practice, but with the perception. For some reason, few people would complain about having students use fifteen or twenty minutes of class time to take a test, write a paper, or do research on a computer, yet each of those activities is a quiet, individual activity that the teacher simply observes – exactly as is the case with SSR. We merely need to recognize that reading – just like taking a test, writing, or researching – is an intellectual activity appropriate to the classroom. Story – an anecdote – to illustrate the claim.

10 One objection is that SSR doesn’t look like teaching. Tom Newkirk (in Henry 1995) tells the story of a time when a riot broke out in his high school, yet while other classrooms were emptying as students joined the riot, his students stayed in their seats to continue reading their self-selected novels. The principal was running from class to class in a vain effort to stem the exodus, yet rather than compliment Newkirk on having such good control, he told him to start teaching. Granted, the story is decades old, but my conversations with teachers suggest that plenty of people still view silent reading of self-selected materials as inappropriate for the classroom. The problem here is not with the practice, but with the perception. For some reason, few people would complain about having students use fifteen or twenty minutes of class time to take a test, write a paper, or do research on a computer, yet each of those activities is a quiet, individual activity that the teacher simply observes – exactly as is the case with SSR. We merely need to recognize that reading – just like taking a test, writing, or researching – is an intellectual activity appropriate to the classroom. Additional evidence – personal experience

11 One objection is that SSR doesn’t look like teaching. Tom Newkirk (in Henry 1995) tells the story of a time when a riot broke out in his high school, yet while other classrooms were emptying as students joined the riot, his students stayed in their seats to continue reading their self-selected novels. The principal was running from class to class in a vain effort to stem the exodus, yet rather than compliment Newkirk on having such good control, he told him to start teaching. Granted, the story is decades old, but my conversations with teachers suggest that plenty of people still view silent reading of self-selected materials as inappropriate for the classroom. The problem here is not with the practice, but with the perception. For some reason, few people would complain about having students use fifteen or twenty minutes of class time to take a test, write a paper, or do research on a computer, yet each of those activities is a quiet, individual activity that the teacher simply observes – exactly as is the case with SSR. We merely need to recognize that reading – just like taking a test, writing, or researching – is an intellectual activity appropriate to the classroom. Answer to the objection

12 Paragraph Structure Topic Sentence – your claim (not somebody else’s) Clarifications, explanations, definitions as needed Evidence More evidence, if you have it Explanation of how the evidence supports the claim Use coordinating conjunctions: For And Nor But Or Yet So

13 Paragraph Structure Topic Sentence – your claim (not somebody else’s) Clarifications, explanations, definitions as needed Evidence More evidence, if you have it Explanation of how the evidence supports the claim Use coordinating conjunctions: For And Nor But Or Yet So More words and phrases that show relationships: For example By contrast On the other hand However Nevertheless Furthermore Not only…but also Use subordinating conjunctions: Though Although While When Whenever Since After

14 One objection is that SSR doesn’t look like teaching. Tom Newkirk (in Henry 1995) tells the story of a time when a riot broke out in his high school, yet while other classrooms were emptying as students joined the riot, his students stayed in their seats to continue reading their self-selected novels. The principal was running from class to class in a vain effort to stem the exodus, yet rather than compliment Newkirk on having such good control, he told him to start teaching. Granted, the story is decades old, but my conversations with teachers suggest that plenty of people still view silent reading of self-selected materials as inappropriate for the classroom. The problem here is not with the practice, but with the perception. For some reason, few people would complain about having students use fifteen or twenty minutes of class time to take a test, write a paper, or do research on a computer, yet each of those activities is a quiet, individual activity that the teacher simply observes – exactly as is the case with SSR. We merely need to recognize that reading – just like taking a test, writing, or researching – is an intellectual activity appropriate to the classroom.

15 One objection is that SSR doesn’t look like teaching. Another objection to SSR is that, since reading – and especially leisure reading – can take place at home, teachers should not spend class time on it. Why spend time in class on something we can get for free at home? The fallacy of this reasoning is that reading need not be an only-at-home or only-in-class activity.

16 Some people might object that, since SSR is generally not tested, students are likely to avoid engagement. Bryan, Fawson, and Reutzel (2003) make such an argument when they note that “simply providing students time to self-select their own books and read silently” does not “guarantee” that students will, in fact, read silently; further, some students might even “use books as a prop for pretend reading or other non-engaged reading behaviors” (p. 47, emphasis theirs). This objection actually highlights a much larger problem in education today: the fact that high-stakes testing is narrowing the curriculum. John Forster and Tom Chapin (2008) have a song, “Not on the Test,” that begins with these lines: “Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine. / The test is tomorrow but you'll do just fine. / It's reading and math. Forget all the rest. / You don't need to know what is not on the test.” NCLB legislation didn’t create the attitude that anything not tested isn’t worth doing, but it certainly seems to have intensified the practice of shrinking the curriculum to the point that “if [a subject] is not on the test, [it] has been cut from the curriculum” (Fazzio, 2009, p. 105). Students recognize what is happening; they see that “untested” means “unimportant” at the curricular level, so they reasonably deduce that “untested” means “unimportant” at the classroom level as well. SSR might actually help mitigate against this nothing-but-the-test-matters attitude, however, since students who derive pleasure or otherwise find personal value in reading will have first-hand experience with learning for its own sake.

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24 Instead of talking about assisting the middle class, such as President Obama does, he tries to reach the middle class by using history. Romney has had a lot of money his entire life so cannot relate to the average American, because he’s never been one. Romney reminds people of their forefathers by stating, “It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, and the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.” Romney hopes this will make middle class not want to be helped but to be driven to become a part of the upper class. He reminds the middle class why their ancestors were so motivated with the word, “Freedom.” He repeats this word to stress what makes America so unique and the best country to pursue your dreams. He also points out flaws in President Obama’s term. Romney states, “But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future.” He adds the future of the children in the mix because if there is one thing that Americans worry about and focus on it is the future of the nation.

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30 Arrangement – for considering two possibilities Introduction: provide a context, identify the issue, find common ground Part 1 Argue one side of the issue (Option #1) Part 2 Argue the other side of the issue (Option #2) Part 3 Draw a conclusion based on the evidence, then provide closure Part 4

31 Paper #2 is due Th, Oct 11 Bring a complete draft – complete, but not final – to class on Th (Oct 4) and Tu (Oct 9). You will work on your paper during class. Keep your working draft on your USB drive and in your files.


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