The SSR Handbook Chapter 6 Review: Maintenance necessary for success.

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This is the final review in a series of posts reviewing The SSR Handbook: How to Organize and Manage a Sustained Silent Reading Program by Janice Pilgreen.  See reviews of other chapters below:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5 

Chapter 6 of The SSR Handbook: How to Organize and Manage a Sustained Silent Reading Program focuses on implementation problems, possible student responses and what resources to find and where.

Here are some of the problems that arise according to Pilgreen at the beginning of chapter 6.

  • Students take books home and forget to bring them back the next day.
  • Students attempt to frequently get up from their seats during reading time with the veil of getting a new book but seem to actually be socializing.
  • Books disappear.
  • Students will choose materials that seem below their level.
  • Controversial reading material that contain things like violence.
  • Students viewing pictures more than reading.
  • Teacher feeling like losing control over the environment when it is made more conducive toward pleasure reading.
  • Students who fidget or move nervously during reading time.
  • Students rereading the same materials.
  • Students not demonstrating a connection to their reading.
  • Students who view reading as not really doing anything.
  • Students who choose a different book every reading session.
  • Students seem to lack enthusiasm for reading.
  • Buy in from colleagues.
  • A desire to attach reading to a grade or accountability measure.
  • The balance of opportunities to respond with curriculum time.
  • Routine to create an efficient use of time when reading sessions are more frequent for less time.

There are many challenges that will arise with a reading program.  Many of them involve our own teacher persona.  We want the best for our students and it is hard to relinquish control to students if we see things that seem to prevent them from reaching their best.  But relinquishing control will drive them to become independent readers.  It will take some time for students.  Many of Pilgreen’s answers to the above challenges in chapter 6 of The SSR Handbook: How to Organize and Manage a Sustained Silent Reading Program involve patience from us with the students.  There is nothing we can do to make a student become an independent reader.  Many of the instincts we have such as testing what students comprehend from their reading actually prevents them from becoming independent readers.  Make sure and work through Pilgreen’s answers in chapter 6.  The 8 factors for success found throughout the book are critical for a successful program, but they require a tremendous amount of patience and frequent maintenance for a successful implementation.

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The chapter ends with information for many resources for reading materials from publishers, reading clubs and magazines.  Many of these are fantastic for an ESOL classroom.  The last pages of the book end with some fantastic resources that you can use immediately.  Interest surveys, reading surveys and log sheets are ready for you to use in your classroom right now.

Don’t start a reading program without Pilgreen’s book to help you stack the program for success.


8 factors for a successful reading program, research, advice and examples to guide implementation of a successful reading program.



1 Comment

  1. READ!

    On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 8:04 AM Comprehensible Antiquity wrote:

    > Magister Stoa posted: “This is the final review in a series of posts > reviewing The SSR Handbook: How to Organize and Manage a Sustained Silent > Reading Program by Janice Pilgreen. See reviews of other chapters below: > Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Ch” >


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