October 26, 2007


I was talking to my partner teacher at lunch today about doing some more sustained silent reading time and we were kicking around ideas. I told her about a teacher I knew who did ELVIS time (Everyone Loves Very Interesting Stories) and would play a short Elvis tune. By the time the tune was over, the students needed to have chosen a book and be reading quietly until she played another tune to give them time to shelve the book and get back to their seats.

As you can see, my friend liked the idea:

"Today when we were talking about SSR I lwas inspired by the ELVIS reading time. Using an Elvis song so that the students would have a limited time to choose a book for their SSR. I was also inspired by the idea of the students writing the teacher a letter about what they had read. I decided to try those ideas out on the very next class. Well, I didn't have any Elvis music, so I thought of Mozart - Many Other Zealous Anxious Readers -- no, no. Would Mozart really motivate my 4th and 5th graders? I think not. Nor would an alphbet song. Well, what about SHREK time??? OK OK, it was the only cool (and we know how cool I am) CD I had. So, I went with it. I showed the students the box of books told them it was SHREK time and they had the length of the first song to choose a book. I put on the first song it was rather loud. At first they looked at me like I was crazier than usual. I began modeling choosing a book. The students joined right in. I let them choose any book regardless of level. They had to read it for 10 minutes and if they finished it - they would have to read it again. I let them lie on the floor, put their feet up whatever, while I modeled reading. Again they joined right in. After they were finished I played quiet music while they wrote me letters about SHREK time and the books they had read. I let the students make bookmarks for SHREK time. I played Shrek as the class ended and they left my trailer. Now all I need to do is think of what SHREK could stand for. How about at School and at Home Reading for ESOL is Key?"