Silent Sustained Reading: Beneficial, or waste of time?

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Silent Sustained Reading: Beneficial, or waste of time?

Books in the library

Books in the library

Books in the library

Books in the library

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Many students complain about silent sustained reading on Wednesdays, but according to the staff at Rachel Carson, Silent Sustained Reading can be quite helpful for students.

Teachers like Mr. Mark Bolt, and assistant principal Ms. Christina Oh, think that Silent Sustained Reading is very beneficial, because of the literacy benefits, and the fact that you can choose your own book.

“Literacy is key,” said Mr. Bolt, an eighth-grade teacher at Rachel Carson.

According to FCPS, literacy increases students communication skills, helps with conversations between family, friends, teachers, school staff members and in the community. 

“I think it is a great way to promote reading, I just want more than 30 minutes a week,” said Ms. Oh.

Forty-eight out of 56 students polled say that they wouldn’t prefer the Silent Sustained reading program on Wednesdays, throughout the school year, and most students who responded to the poll didn’t like the idea of having a mandatory Silent Sustained Reading.

“There are some days that I go to panther time ready to do work, and then I realize that I have to read because of Silent Sustained Reading,” said Spriha Tandon, Trailblazers member. “I like reading, but I also like doing my homework.”

The Silent Sustained Reading program has been around at Rachel Carson Middle for a long time, and it used to be twice a week. The Sustained Silent reading program is also at other schools, like Lake Norman High.

Fifth-five out of 56 students say that Silent Sustained Reading gets in the way of their homework, which could mean that some students would get a zero on their homework because they didn’t get to work on it during panther time.

“They have four out of five days to do their homework, and while it is important to give students time to do their homework, reading is just as important, building literacy and comprehension skills are important,” said Ms.Oh.

Students often cannot find books that they like to read, so, for those students who cannot find a book, there is a tub of books in each team that has been hand selected by a book specialist. They’re books that they think that middle schoolers would like.

There was a small number of students that said Silent Sustained Reading is beneficial, but even though they thought it was beneficial, they would still prefer for there not to be a Silent Sustained Reading Program. Most likely they had more important work to do on some Silent Sustained Reading days.

While Silent Sustained Reading might get in the way of students homework, it may have proven to have a positive effect on students literacy levels.
According to the Huffington Post, 14 percent of adults in America had below basic literacy level.

An excerpt from the Fairfax County Public Schools website stated, the more students practice, the better they will become at reading. Students spend their Silent Sustained Reading time being engaged in reading and practicing thinking and questioning strategies to understand the book that they are reading. 

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