Independent Reading: 101

Maximize the power of this time in your classroom!

What is Independent Reading, Really?

Independent reading is any time carved out of your day in which your students are reading self-selected books that are a "good fit" for them. There are different kinds of reading that may be going on in your room during this time and it will look different from classroom to classroom.The focus of this time is to support, encourage and validate your students as they grow as readers, through all of their ages and stages. The main components of independent reading are outlined below.

When do I find the Time?

Independent Reading is an indispensable part of the day in a literacy rich classroom. There should be a large period of time set aside, as in reader's workshop, for independent reading, as well as time to "read in the edges" sneaking in precious minutes whenever you can. All time spent reading should be intrinsic, self-motivated and pleasurable!
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More Formal/ Larger Chunks of Independent Reading Time

Informal (yet super powerful) Reading Times

Getting Started: The Nuts & Bolts

On Keeping Reading Logs

For what purpose?

Rethink using them as record / minute keeping or as a way of holding students accountable; NOT helpful in building reading or reading for pleasure when done as part of nightly tracking/ "keeping kids accountable"; most are falsified, research does not back it up.

Think of reading logs with a different purpose- to gather insight into reading habits in class, to use as a very informative means of getting to know your readers, styles, likes/ dislikes, comfort levels and preferences. When used in such a way, they are very useful means of peeking to reading lives, etc. Help to guide teacher seeking to diversify reading diet. etc- built around discussions and conferences with readers

On Use of Reading Levels

Clarify the Purpose- Think of yourself as a reader- offer the same respect for younger readers- validate- prior knowledge- help to forge connections- our kids are readers not a level. levels are fluid and vary- levels do not a reader make. know your kids, know your books.

Alternative Ideas


Watch Donalyn Miller's Keynote via The Educator Collaborative, LLC


Sharing my thoughts...

The ideas and philosophies shared are my personal thoughts and shared resources from some of my literacy heroes. Feel free to discuss!