An evaluation of sustained silent reading activities in foothill schools

This study asked the question,” How did the current educator deal with the problem of developing a love of reading when curriculum leaves little or no time for free voluntary reading?” Teachers were provided an online or hard copy survey designed to reveal the extent SSR was being used to complement regular language or reading curriculum. This study attempted to gauge the attitude and the extent that teachers regarded the positive aspects of Sustained Silent Reading and how they adapted SSR to fit into their classrooms. Contrary to the finding of the National Reading Panel, numerous studies reported positive attitudes towards reading and increased reading comprehension with the addition of SSR to regular classroom reading instruction. The survey presented the findings of 25 out of 107 teachers from 6 different foothill schools with a total student population of 2172. Ninety-six percent of the teachers reported that SSR was “important” or “extremely important” yet 36% of those same teachers reported only allowing 10-30 minutes a week for free reading. The amount of time provided for SSR and the incentives used for free reading in non-SSR style programs (AR, Reading Counts) did not support the professed belief in SSR as an aid to encourage reading improvement. The reasons for this lack of implementation are attributed mainly to a lack of time in the instructional day as well as mandated programs that took up the majority of class time.