R5: The Sustained Silent Reading Makeover That Transformed Readers


E-mail mkelley@mail.ucf.edu.


This article reports on a retooled Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) block in an intermediate classroom designed to meet the needs of all students. The authors discuss the benefits and obstacles to SSR and include the framework and classroom management tips that aided their successful implementation of an independent reading block.

Students engaged in a structured format called R5 (read, relax, reflect, respond, and rap), which resulted in significant gains on informal and formal assessments of wide reading, metacognitive awareness, and comprehension. Furthermore, to motivate and engage readers, the authors suggest that teachers

  • Consistently monitor and guide the reading habits of their students

  • Build in opportunities for sharing ideas and discussions about text

  • Promote the application of metacognitive strategies in the context of reading

A review of the research on independent reading and SSR, classroom observations, and assessment findings are provided to illustrate the power of this thoughtful literacy block.