Independent Reading

Emilie Taylor Section D 9/10/15

Motivation for Reading

Students should be able to choose their text with the teacher guiding them in the direction that would best suit them for their reading level and interest. Reading books that are too hard or too easy is disinteresting to anyone trying to read. By having students choose their own books, they become more motivated to read both in school and on their own. Also let them choose their area to read and get comfortable. Constant readers develop into skillful readers.

Not always independent

Many of the teachers who were interviewed expressed that independent reading isn't always independent because there are opportunities for students to share in group discussions what they are reading about, talk to the teacher about their book, or participate in pair reading. Teachers also influence independent reading by modeling what strategies skillful readers use when reading. One of the most important strategies is being able to figure out the unknowns coming up in the text. Teachers must help choose texts that facilitate growth in reading skills.

What can Teachers Do?

-Build their Library with differing reading levels.

-Recommend books to students who may not know what kind of books they like.

-Have students explore many different types of texts.

-Facilitate discussion on books and give compelling questions to refer to while reading. This keeps the readers active in the book.

-Determine student reading level by counting the number of unknown words on a page in the book (no more than 5 unknown words)

Differentiated Learning!

Discussion Questions

-Explain the benefits and shortcomings of Independent Reading Programs such as Accelerated Reading?

-What small group discussion questions would be effective to ask in a discussion about independent reading?

-How can teachers know that students are effectively independently reading?

-How can we motivate students who just don't like to read?

My opinion

I liked reading this article because I am not a motivated independent reader. I have struggled many times through elementary and high school to read books on my own. I was always worried about getting my points for AR or finishing the book, that I never stopped and realized what it took to become a skillful reader. This article shows the importance of modeling and motivating the students to be skillful readers. If I had teachers who showed this importance in school, I may be a different kind of reader. I also like how teachers should be involved in aiding students in choosing their books. I never knew what books to read or what level of reading I was at. By teachers putting in that extra effort they begin differentiating instruction for their students and getting to know their students in a more personal way. These factors will in turn motivate students to love reading. I also like how they refute the title of independent reading by giving ways in which independent reading can become a learning experience for all students. I've never seen a small group discussion about independent reading, but I think it would be great to understand how your students are comprehending the text. It also may motivate another student to want to read a book that their peer is talking about. This article opened my eyes to see the importance of independent reading and what it looks like to facilitate it in a classroom.
Sanden, S. (2012). Independent reading. The Reading Teacher, 66(3), 222-231.