Independent Reading

Jennifer Serravallo of Scholastic gives advice about independent reading in Instructor’s Fall 2012 issue.

Tips for meaningful independent reading:

  • conference with students to assess and support
  • keep their reading on track
  • set goals
  • make ongoing assessments
  • have a well-stocked classroom library
  • have an accurate assessment to record and track students’ levels and progress
  • teach strategies to build stamina-post-it notes every few pages as goals to reach, adding 5 more minutes of reading time each day
  • teach independent reading
    -make sure students know to re-read, strategies for comprehension, etc.
  • organize books by level so students know which books are in their range
    -this prevents students from picking books that are too easy so they are not challenged and also prevents students from picking books that are too hard so that they get discouraged
  • create book clubs around particular topics
    -students choose different books in that genre and read independently
    -a few times per week, students meet in groups, discuss, and swap books
  • have students challenge themselves to pick a book with an ugly cover, read a “girly” book if they’re a boy, or generally anything out of their general comfort zone
  • take a trip to the library and fill some tables with books so students can browse a small selection that you  have chosen-students then write the books they think look interesting (author included)

Other reading-related tips for the classroom library:

  • assign a student to be librarian whose job it is to keep bookshelves in order
  • have a system of checking books out

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