What is Scaffolded Silent Reading (ScSR)?

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What is Scaffolded Silent ReadingWhen the traditional practice of silent reading was found ineffective in developing reading fluency in students, the strategy was redesigned and introduced as the Scaffolded Silent Reading strategy (ScSR). This new strategy, ScSR, aims to support and guide students, by providing structure, accountability and monitoring of the reading session. In this way, students are encouraged to successfully transfer their oral reading skills into silent reading practice.

Implementing ScSR in a classroom

The success of ScSR practice lies in the proper implementation of its key components like: library design, book selection skills, role of the teacher, purpose of the strategy, monitoring- feedback and student accountability. Let’s see how these factors are introduced in the classroom.

Book selection strategies:Students are motivated to read when they choose their own books. However, this might lead to students choosing books that are above their abilities. Thus, each student’s reading level is assessed and is represented by a specific number or colored dots. A roster with the students names are prepared along with their level of reading (represented by colored dots). Students are instructed to take books that have similar colored dots. To encourage students to read books of different genres, a genre wheel is used. Students are instructed to read books from each genre during the entire year.

Arranging the library: The books are placed in bins of different colors based on their levels of difficulty. This arrangement will help students to choose books from a particular bin based on their individual level of reading. The library will have books of different genres and each book can have a sticker colored dots attached to it to represent the level of difficulty.

Teacher role in monitoring, feedback and student accountability: Teachers are instrumental in orienting students to the classroom library, teaching the book selection strategies and also modeling other techniques to assist in developing reading fluency and comprehension. Once the strategies are taught, the teacher will assess the students’ reading fluency and comprehension weekly and record the same to have an accurate finding regarding the student’s progress. This achieved through a small discussion of 1-2 minutes in which the teacher may ask the student to read out a paragraph and ask questions related to the story. After the discussion, the teacher may provide feedback or correction as is necessary. Teachers encourage and facilitate student accountability by instructing the students to set a time for completion of the book and to choose from the various book project options. These book projects are small assignments by which the student shares the book read with the rest of the class. The teachers can provide options and the student can choose a particular option that best suits his book.

How does ScSR differ from the traditional practice of silent reading?

The traditional practice of silent reading was criticized for various reasons like absence of student teacher interaction, monitoring, accountability, feedback, lack of guidance in choosing appropriate challenging books and also for the lack of direction and time allocation of the reading program. The solutions for these shortcomings incorporated in the new strategy, thereby making ScSR more practical and useful for developing reading skills.

Thus by introducing this scaffolded pattern of reading, the teacher is able to track the progress of reading skills and can also determine if the student is ready to transfer their oral reading skills to silent reading practice.

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Discuss here: How have you implemented silent reading in your classroom?

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