Free Voluntary Reading


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Special Interest Lesson for LIS 773

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  • Mention that good reading habits are reinforced from actually reading rather than direct reading instruction
  • After slide 3: how many of you did some type of FVR as a student? As a teacher? Experiences?
  • Show a snippet of book talks dvd?
  • What’s going on in this video?
  • Try the author recognition survey. Studies have found correlations between # correct and levels of literacy. How could you use this type of survey with students? Which survey would you prefer to do? How could you use this type of data to advocate for FVR?
  • In any given school, you will encounter a variety of perspectives on free voluntary reading; some will already be enthusiastic advocates, others will be pessimistic naysayers.
  • Free Voluntary Reading

    1. 1. Free Voluntary Reading0 Students read any materials they choose.0 “FVR means reading because you want to. For school-age children, FVR means no book report, no questions at the end of the chapter, and no looking up every vocabulary word. FVR means putting down a book you don’t like and choosing another one instead. It is the kind of reading highly literate people do all the time.” –Krashen (2004, p. x)
    2. 2. The Many Incarnations of FVR DEAR (drop everything and read) DIRT (daily independent reading time) LTR (love to read) USSR (uninterrupted sustained silent reading) POWER (providing opportunities with every day reading) FUR (free uninterrupted reading) IRT (independent reading time) SQUIRT (sustained quiet uninterrupted reading time) WART (writing and reading time) SSRW (sustained silent reading and writing) and more…
    3. 3. Key Issue #1Free voluntary reading is central to improving everything:comprehension, writing, spelling, grammar, background knowledge, test-taking. If wewant to improve student literacy, students must read.
    4. 4. 0 “Because reading has more impact on students’ achievement than any other activity in school, setting aside time for reading must be the first activity we teachers write into our lesson plans, not the last. If it said that we make time for what we value, and if we value reading, we must make time for it.” (Miller, 52) 0 “Reading is a powerful means of developing reading comprehension ability, writing style, vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. In addition, evidence shows that it is pleasant, promotes cognitive development, and lowers writing apprehension.” (Krashen 2004, 37). 0 “Students who have the broadest reading experiences score the highest on standardized tests. Conversely, those students with the narrowest reading experiences scored the lowest. Clearly, if we want students to perform well on standardized reading tests, our top priority should not be in narrowing students into a test-prep curriculum; our focus should be on providing our students with the widest reading experiences possible.” (Gallagher, 36).(emphasis mine)
    5. 5. Key Issue #2School-wide free voluntary reading programs benefit everyone.
    6. 6. FVR allows students to:  Consolidate and practice skills and strategies learned during reading instruction;  Broaden their background knowledge and a wide base of learning;  Develop independence & ownership of their reading. For some students, FVR in school is their only opportunity to nurture an independent reading habit.FVR helps teachers by:  Addressing critical thinking and literacy skills that are foundational to the curriculum;  Calming and focusing students when they return to the curriculum;  Focusing instructional time when FVR time is a given.FVR helps school libraries by:  Increasing circulation numbers;  Creating more opportunities for readers’ advisory;  Providing more opportunities for collaboration and communication with students, teachers, and administrators.Administrators should embrace FVR because:  FVR is a research-based best practice that is shown to improve student literacy and learning;  Standardized test scores will improve as a result;  It can be a central rallying point for school-wide cohesion and community building.
    7. 7. FVR in schools today…0 “As I travel the country, I see that SSR has been removed from schools to give students more time to prepare for exams.” (Gallagher, 42)0 Longfellow Elementary, d. 97: no SSR. Once a week my husband’s class goes to the library for 20 minutes. For 10 minutes they check out books, and they silently read for the other 10.0 Many of my facebook teacher pals are doing some version of SSR:
    8. 8. When I taught at Curie, eachmajor department wasrequired to do SQUIRT for 15minutes on a different day. TheEnglish Department was fairlyconsistent about it onMondays. Otherdepartments, not so much…Curie has since stopped doingSQUIRT.Here’s a Book Talk videosnippet from June 2008.
    9. 9. Key Issue #3 School librarians play a central role as encouragers of free voluntary reading. They have aunique responsibility for setting the tone of acceptability and desirability surrounding all things reading.
    10. 10. 0 “If libraries are a major source of books, and if more reading means better reading, better librarians should be associated with better reading. This has been found to be the case.” (Krashen, 2004, 65) 0 “School librarians aren’t trapped by institutionalized beliefs about reading. Rather, school librarians are empowered to promote reading, not as a school subject that’s mandated, practiced, and tested, but as a personal experience that fulfills intellectual and emotional needs.” (Gordon)(emphasis mine)
    11. 11. FVR in action… (?)0 why I love youTube0 what not to do  
    12. 12. Surveys! Do them, give them, share them.0 Teacher Librarians in training (that’s you…) 0 Author Recognition Survey link0 Reading Interest-A-Lyzer from in The Book Whisperer0 The one I used with RLA 0 A simple search for “reading survey” will return many examples teachers have used.
    13. 13. 8 Factors for a Successful SSR ProgramPilgreen’s list has many implications for school librarianswho want to nurture a school-wide free voluntary readingculture: 0 1. Access 0 2. Appeal 0 3. Conducive Environment 0 4. Encouragement 0 5. Staff Training 0 6. Non-Accountability 0 7. Follow-Up Activities 0 8. Distributed Time to Read
    14. 14. Key Issue #4 School librarians must be vocal advocates and leaders for theimportance of reading in the school culture. They must be willing to question current practices and to raise awareness about student access to books and time for students to independently read.
    15. 15. 0 Acculturation (doing what everyone else does) is powerful in schools: “Despite the abundant information available on implementing free-choice reading programs and the clear research support for such practices, why is so little authentic reading done in schools? When students do get to read a book, why is the book still weighed down with so much “stuff” . . . instead of reading?” (Gallagher, 167-8).0 A school librarian’s job is to help staff see the “unexamined wallpaper”—classroom practices and institutional policies that are so entrenched in school culture or a teacher’s paradigm that their ability to affect student learning is never probed. Are the activities and assessments we use accomplishing our intended instructional goals, or are they simply what we have always done?” (Miller, 122).(emphasis mine)
    16. 16. 0 “There needs to be more of us, and we need to get a lot louder about telling our administrators, colleagues, and parents what we believe. Of course, we have to believe that students need to read more and have more control over their reading in the first place” (Miller, 176).0 Be the “discussion director” on your campus: “the one who raises the issue and keeps your faculty focused. Do your students have access to interesting books? Do they have time to read? It all starts with raising the awareness level of faculty and administration” (Gallagher, 51).0 Gallagher’s “Hard Talk Checklist”(emphasis mine)
    17. 17. Position Statement on the Value of Independent Reading in the School Library ProgramIn an information age, literacy demands not only the ability to read and write, but also the ability to processinformation and communicate effectively. Research suggests that reading proficiency increases with theamount of time spent reading voluntarily. Unfortunately, independent reading is often a casualty in ourfast paced, media-oriented society. Todays students know how to read but have little or no interest indoing so. They have failed to catch the love of reading; therefore, they choose not to read.The adoption of Goals 2000 has made literacy an issue of national importance; therefore, a primary goal ofthe school library program must be to create life-long readers. It is imperative that school librarianswork with teachers and parents to find ways to instill in students the joy of reading while helping thembuild the reading habit.To become life-long readers, students must have . . .• access to current, quality, high interest, and extensive collections of books and other print materials in their school libraries, classrooms, and public libraries;• contact with adults who read regularly and widely and who serve as positive reading role models;• certified school librarians and classroom teachers who demonstrate their enthusiasm for reading by reading aloud and booktalking;• time during the school day dedicated to reading for pleasure, information, and exploration;• opportunities specifically designed to engage young people in reading;• schools that create an environment where independent reading is valued, promoted, and encouraged; and• opportunities that involve care givers, parents and other family members in reading.The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. Mark Twain(adopted June 1994; revised July 1999) mine)
    18. 18. AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner0 Common Belief: “Reading is a window to the world.”0 Teaching for Learning Guideline 2: “The school library program promotes reading as a foundational skill for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment.” 0 All of the “Actions” of the School Librarian can be met with a school-wide FVR program.0 Indicator 4.2.4: “Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing an interest in various genres.”AASL Standards
    19. 19. ISLMA Linking for Learning0 Teaching for Learning Guideline #3: “The school library media program promotes reading as a foundational skill for the development of new understandings, personal growth, and enjoyment.” (24)0 Every aspect of “Implementation” can be hit upon by a school-wide program of FVR.Teaching for Learning Evaluation Form
    20. 20. Why is FVR so important, again?0 This is why! Let’s nurture these kinds of readers.
    21. 21. BibliographyAmerican Association of School Libraries. “Position Statement on the Value of Independent Reading in the School Library Program,” American Libraries Association, r. July 1999. (accessed September 4, 2012).Gallager, Kelly. Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers, 2009.Gordon, Carol. “Meeting Readers Where They Are: Mapping the intersection of research and practice.” School Library Journal 56, no. 11 (November 2010): 32-37. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 4, 2012).Krashen, Stephen. The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research, 2nd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.Krashen, Stephen. “Free Reading. (Cover story).” School Library Journal 52, no. 9 (September 2006): 42-45. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 4, 2012).Lee, Valerie. “Becoming the Reading Mentors Our Adolescents Deserve: Developing a Successful Sustained Silent Reading Program.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 55, no. 3 (November 2011): 209-218. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 4, 2012).Makatche, Kathryn and Jessica Urick Oberlin. “Building a Culture of Reading.” School Library Monthly 28, n. 3 (December 2011): 12-14. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text EBSCOhost (accessed September 21, 2012).Miller, Donalyn. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.Pilgreen, Janice L. The SSR Handbook: How to Organize and Manage a Sustained Silent Reading Program. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers, 2000.