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Undergraduate Research Journal

Abstract

Sustained Silent Reading is reading silently for an amount of time in a distraction free environment. Sustained Silent Reading is an important attribute for literacy development. If students read daily and learn to enjoy it, they will become lifelong readers, which leads to improvement in many skills. However, reading instruction varies in schools. Many schools use incentive based approaches to reading. This practice teaches children to read for a prize, instead of reading to read. Many struggling students are assigned to read in isolation or assigned to finish homework during reading time. This method leaves struggling readers with little time to improve while good readers often have more time to practice their reading. Studies have shown an effective Sustained Silent Reading focuses on routine, environment, access to materials, teacher roles, accountability, and time. This project administered a survey of teacher perceptions of Sustained Silent Reading to third grade teachers in a midsized Midwestern school district. Twelve third grade teachers participated in taking the survey and gave consent for obtaining Measures of Academic Progress scores of their students. Results from phase one of this study showed teacher perceptions and methods of reading instruction vary. Preliminary results showed the keyword “time” was used when asked what the biggest struggle of daily uninterrupted reading is. Results also showed teachers in the study took time for reading, but they did not always implement a distraction free environment or other factors that contribute to successful Sustained Silent Reading. Measures of Academic Progress scores were assessed for reading growth. Results varied but showed higher growth rates in teachers who implemented sustained silent reading every day for 20-25 minutes. Clearly, research shows Sustained Silent Reading is an important factor for development of students.

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