The Power of Reading: Enhanced SSR An Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact on Your Future Academic and Personal Success “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” Mark Twain Questions You Might Have • What is Enhanced SSR? • What do you want me to do during SSR? • Why are we taking time out of the school day to have SSR? • How is it going to help me? #1 What is Enhanced SSR? SSR is an acronym for Sustained Silent Reading. SSR is a reading intervention strategy used in schools all over the nation. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet . . .” W. Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet Names for In-School Practice Reading Programs • SSR Sustained Silent Reading • USSR Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading • DEAR Drop Everything and Read • FUR Free Uninterrupted Reading • SQUIRT Sustained Quiet Uninterrupted Reading Time • IRT Independent Reading Time • WART Writing and Reading Time • FVR Free Voluntary Reading By whatever name a school may choose to call it, SSR is a period of quiet, school-wide reading. So what does Enhanced SSR mean? • Enhanced SSR is our own version of SSR • It allows you to learn reading strategies in mini-lessons during SSR time. • It allows you to practice those strategies in groups, pairs, and individually during reading time. • It provides you with a set of strategies that you can use in your other classes and on standardized tests, such as the ACT and Exit Tests. • It allows a mentor teacher to get to know you and your reading style and to help you make the most of SSR time. • It allows us to evaluate your reading formally and informally. #2 What do you want me to do during the SSR period? These Things • Read • Participate in mini-lessons to learn new strategies • Practice those strategies in lessons you are assigned to complete during SSR time. • Apply those strategies when you read in your classes, on tests, or at home. • Give honest feedback when you are asked about your reading. We need you to do the following: • Daily, you will need to bring reading material to your SSR class. (Most of the time you should bring a book; occasionally you may read newspapers or magazine articles.) • When the bell rings to end class, you should begin reading. • Approximately once every two weeks your mentor teacher will present a mini-lesson that will show you how to apply a particular reading strategy. • You will be asked to apply that strategy during SSR time. Sometimes you will be asked to do a written or an oral assignment so that your mentor teacher can evaluate how well you are able to use the strategy. You will earn a grade for your effort: A, B, F You will receive ½ unit credit in reading on your transcript. This grade will be part of your cumulative GPA. #3 Why are we taking time out of the school day to have SSR? I Have No Time I have no time to dream a dream Or think a splendid thought, Or visit with King Arthur In the land of Camelot. I’ve classified one-hundred bugs, And learned mitosis phases, While wishing that my lab book Had a story to its pages. I could travel to another time With Huck Finn on his raft. Or read a poem by Silverstein That really makes me laugh. Instead I fill in X’s and O’s, A never-ending chore. How I long to be with Gulliver On a strange and distant shore! Nouns, pronouns, irregular verbs Are sad and dull and stale, Unless they’re fired with the spark Of a mighty, wondrous tale. Adaptation of poem from an unknown author Reading Is A Skill Ask any sports coach, the band director, the speech coach, the key- boarding teacher, a dance teacher, or a chess champion, “What do I do to be good?” Answer: Practice However, research tells us most students get very little practice reading: • Reading practice declines markedly after fifth grade. • On average, high-school students spend about as much time in literature-based practice as kindergarten students. • Schools graduate students that have practiced reading an average of only seven minutes per day over their entire academic career. Research tells us students who read more demonstrate markedly higher achievement. • Students in the top 5% read 144 times more than students in the bottom 5%. • Students in private schools read 67% more than public school students. • On national testing, students who scored in the top 25% spent 59% more time reading than do students who score in the bottom 25%. Our Own Research Shows that SSR Improves Reading Scores • Reading Scores on the Nelson-Denny Test last year show the following improvement in average grade equivalent for this year’s juniors and seniors. 11’01 5’03 • Senior Scores: 10.8 13.4 GE • Sophomores Scores: 9.9 11.1 GE Of the students who took both the 2001 Nelson- Denny Test and the 2003 Nelson-Denny Test, 83% improved their reading scores. Enhanced SSR will allow us to teach you the READING strategies that good readers use to comprehend what they read: • Recall prior knowledge before, during, and after reading to glean understanding • Engage in questioning before, during, and after reading to clarify understanding and focus their reading • Activate sensory images to deepen their understanding of the text • Determine what is important • Infer to predict, draw conclusions, make judgments, and form unique interpretations from the text • Network new information with existing knowledge to create original ideas and interpretations and make critical evaluations • Get past comprehension problems by consciously and independently applying appropriate strategies. #4 How is all this going to help ME? Research shows It makes you a better reader. It improves your spelling. It improves your vocabulary. Students learn an average of 45 words with each novel they read. Word meaning is picked up 10 times faster by reading than intensive vocabulary instruction. It improves your writing. Research shows that both style and complexity of sentence structure is increased as the amount of reading increases. The Most Important Benefits from Silent Reading Practice Have Nothing to Do with Research. “What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” Thomas Carlyle Richard Peck may provide the best answer for why you should want to improve your ability to read in his poem entitled “I Read.” I READ because one life isn’t enough, and in the pages of a book I can be anybody. I READ because the words that build the story become mine to build my life. I READ not for happy endings but for new beginnings; I’m just beginning myself, and I wouldn’t want a map. I READ because I have friends who don’t, and young though they are, they’re beginning to run out of material. I READ because every journey begins at the library and it’s time for me to start packing. I READ because one of these days I’m going to get out of this town, and I’m going to go everywhere and meet everybody--and I want to be ready.