Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rereading and Reviewing The Read-Aloud Handbook - Chapter 5: Sustained Silent Reading: Reading Aloud's Natural Partner

Here are some of the most interesting points in chapter five of Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook, which focuses on sustained silent reading, aka how most of us read most of the time until we have kids of our own!
  • Powerful Praise: "The single most interesting and comprehensive study ever done of SSR is Stephen Krashen's The Power of Reading. It is inconceivable that anyone could read this book and not resolve to incorporate SSR into the school day. If I could require one professional book to be read by all teachers and librarians, The Power of Reading would be my choice."
  • Words, I Need More Words! "By the third grade, SSR can be the student's most important vocabulary building, more so than basal textbooks or even daily oral language...Indeed, about half of the three thousand most commonly used words are not even included in the K-6 basals." Duh. Living books, living words. And remember, as we learned from Hart-Risley, vocabulary is part of the scaffolding on which intelligence testing is built, and possibly/probably, by extension, vocabulary size mimics intelligence!
  • Stop the Summer Slump: "Jimmy Kim's study of 1,600 sixth-graders in eighteen schools showed that the reading of four to six books during the summer was enough to alleviate summer [skills] loss."
  • Books, I Need More Books! If you're a book-list junkie like me, you might enjoy this 1979 list of read-alouds recommended by Arthur Schlesinger Jr., which Trelease references in defense of comics, specifically The Adventures of Tintin.
  • Oh, Dammit: Love this point about the power of repetition in vocabulary acquisition: "I always tell my parent audiences that the only words children learn having heard them only once are the words you wish you had never said in front of them. The rest of the words we need to encounter multiple times. How many times, to be exact? The research shows that four encounters with an unknown word does little or no good, but twelve meanings enhances comprehension." Ah, so it's the power of 12 then, is it? Duly noted.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED Tintin as a kid and assume boys would enjoy even more. Plus I don't know if they do an English translation of Asterix & Obelix but that's another awesome cartoon book for kids that incidentally teaches them all about the Roman Empire.