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Maximizing Independent Reading

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Submitted By tierrastark
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Maximizing independent reading: helping students think within, beyond, and about texts in a reading workshop

• A literate life is carefully constructed from early experiences in setting that have characteristics like these: o Reading is seen as a productive and valued activity in the place children live and work. o People in children’s lives talk with one another about reading. o Wide varieties of text are readily available
• Independent reading is a context within which children can see themselves as readers and build habits that can last a lifetime.
• Learning first, then achievement, then testing

The goal of independent reading
• An important part of teaching literacy is providing daily opportunities for students to read, on their own, books they have selected themselves.
• Independent reading help students: o Learn to exercise choice as a reader o Develop the habit of spending significant time reading. o Processing a large number of text on a regular basis
 Kindergarten and Grade 1 o Children
 Behave like readers
 Remember and think about the ideas in the text
 Internalize the language
 Expand vocabulary by using the text o Independent reading activities may include:
 Rereading poems students have experienced in shared reading
 Rereading books previously experienced in shared reading
 Rereading from individual/group book boxes
 Reading with partners
 Reading with a partners – single text
 Reading selections from the classroom
 Late grade 1 through early grade 2 o Children are reading much longer texts, some that cannot be finished in a single guided reading lessons o To sustain lower text readers teachers can:
 Daily guided reading instruction
 Individual book boxed
 Assignments at the listening centers to give them exposure to higher level text.
 Grades 2 through 8 o Book talks and minilessons o Reading conferring, and writing about reading o Sharing and evaluation o Suggest they write thoughtfully at least once a week about the book they are reading independently or hearing in interactive read aloud

• Texts to support independent reading o Regular visits to the school and public library are important but a classroom library is also important:
 Students are surrounded by a variety of texts
 When students finish a book, they are able to start another text immediately o Students should be able to read magazines, journals, internet articles, comic books and other popular written material. o Overall the classroom library should be accessible and inviting.
• What matters in independent reading? o From the beginning of the school year, you will want to provide procedural minilessons that help students learn the routines and expectations of a reading workshop o Reading workshop is a time for students to engage as a community in thinking, and writing about books. o In developing competent readers:
 Quantity matters
 Timing matters
 Variety matters
 Choice matters
 Fluency matters
 Conversation matters
• Helping readers choose books o Readers must be active and interested o Independent reading should get students excited about reading and that cannot happen without choice o Without genuine choice, they will never experience the authentic role of a reader o What you are enthusiastic about and recommend is powerful o The first step is helping readers choose book is to have a good collection at an appropriate range and reading levels that includes many books that will appeal to both genders and is so well organized that students find books very quickly. o Through minilessons and individual conferences, you can teach students how to look at books.
• Reflecting on independent reading through writing o Students at every level can use writing or drawing as a tool for thinking before, during, and after reading.

Questions
1. Is there a way for students in Kindergarten and grade one can form a reading community though interactive read aloud and independent reading?
2. What’s the best way to introduce a reader’s workshop?
Important Points
I felt like the section on “what matters in independent reading” was a really vital part in the chapter. The section provides a lot of information on independent reading that can make the teacher attack the task with more purpose. The teacher also learns about how to create a competent reader; which I think is one of the main focuses in reading education.
What I know about what matters in independent readers will help me to organize a classroom library, choose a way to help students select test that interest them and making reading inviting and engaging.

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