๐Ÿ“‘ Do We Need to Sort Out Silent Reading?

Bookmarked Do We Need to Sort Out Silent Reading? (The Confident Teacher)

We could just assume good things happen when we promote independent reading, but the likelihood is that this only occurs for fluent, successful readers, and so carrying on without careful intent may widen the attainment gap in our school.

Implementing structured silent reading, along with exploring other approaches that will make reading and learning gains, should be our aim to help address the attainment gap.

Alex Quigley explains that although reading lots adds value, there is a danger with approaches like DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) or ERIC (Everyone Reads in Class), in that they allow for fake reading. The reality is that such practices often accentuates the skill divide already present.

There are worrying indications that utilising DEAR may see the reading rich get richer and the reading poor get poorer. We all know those pupils who read fluently and with great skill. They better select those Goldilocks texts that are just right for them, staying motivated and focused, as they read voraciously and well.

In response, Quigley suggests that reading time should be structured, focusing on:

  • Audit reading habits and reading materials
  • Support choice and structure rich reading
  • Top and tail time spent reading
  • Utilise reading time to support the weakest readers
  • Define goals for silent reading

When I was in the classroom, we used the CAFE model to help structure the silent reading program. The challenge I found was meaningfully responding.

I have come to the realisation that unlessย students are empowered and shown where the value exists for them, by teachers, and given more opportunities to develop authentic responses then the problem will continue to exist for teachers. The reality is, whether staff or students, we are all readers, therefore, in the end, we all need to find our way of responding. You may not want to write reviews online or extensive tracks in your margins, but the question needs to be asked: are you really reading if you are not responding?

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