Yesterday, completing an idea that I think I took from one of Kelly Gallagher's books, I had my students engage in silent reading for 30 minutes. Afterwards, I had them count the number of pages they read, and had them calculate their "pages per minute" ratio. Then, I had them calculate how much time they needed to devote to the rest of the reading chunk that night.
It was really neat. Students know (and I know... I'd never actually tested this before) that they read 0.57 pages/minute, or .24 pages/minute, or 1 page/minute. It was eye-opening for me because one student got through 32 pages and other students got through 9 pages; and there was no sleeping or heads down during the time. I didn't gauge understanding while reading - that will come with the quiz on Friday - but we'll see how that goes.
All these years I've been teaching and I still try to figure out new ways to read a novel. I teach such a wide variety of skills sets - some have never really read a novel before, and one kid has read East of Eden - and need to figure out how to effectively differentiate instruction to make them all grow. (I'm having a bit of an issue with the East of Eden kid, actually... I worry the class is way too easy for him.)
Mental Health Break - Great moments in Jumbotron history:
16 minutes ago