Response to Intervention

Do our interventions match our expectations?

Part 1: Independent reading within the READ 180 system


The purpose of this newsletter is to provide a brief overview of the limitations of self-choice for independent reading in the READ 180 system.


I have taught READ 180 and have full experience with teaching the program and all of the components. Thoughts contained within this post reflect my personal experiences and reflections. The focus of the following information is the limitations that READ 180 places upon student choice in independent reading.

READ 180

  • Independent reading is one of three rotations.
  • The READ 180 independent reading library consists of leveled books based on Lexile level.
  • Students read a book and take a quiz to demonstrate comprehension.
  • The READ 180 system expects full fidelity to meet research-based conclusions of the program.

Independent reading in the READ 180 classroom

On my campus, READ 180 is a Tier 3 intervention program designated by the school district. Our class periods are 45 minutes long, requiring use of the 45-minute model. Depending on how the time is structured determines whether or not students participate in independent reading on a daily basis. Independent reading rotations, when implemented, last approximately 20 minutes.

The READ 180 classroom library for independent reading consists of leveled books. Although the library does contain some diverse and high-interest texts, students are expected to make reading choices within their Lexile levels in order to pass quizzes. This system limits student choice, particularly for choosing meaningful texts that will engage and motivate.

What the research says

  • Classroom libraries should offer a wide range of appeal and should reflect diverse backgrounds and identities (NCTE, 2017).
  • When students have the ability to engage in self-choice, they are likely to read more, understand more, and engage in reading on their own (Allington & Gabriel, 2012).
  • We should see students using literacy skills rather than assessing them via performances Gabriel (2013), such as the read-and-quiz system of READ 180.

Share your thoughts

I welcome all thoughts and opinions.

  • Are you a READ 180 teacher who has experienced success with independent reading?
  • Outside of the READ 180 classroom, how do you implement independent reading and self-choice?


Allington, R., & Gabriel, R. (2012). Every child, every day. Educational Leadership, 69(6), 5. Retrieved from,-Every-Day.aspx.

Brooks, M. D. (2019). Authentic choice: A plan for independent reading in a restrictive instructional setting. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62(5), 4.

Gabriel, R. (2013). Every reader reads something he or she understands. In Reading's non-negotiables: Elements of effective reading instruction (pp. 31-45). Lanham: R&L Education.

National Council of Teachers of English (2017, May 31). Statement on classroom libraries. Retrieved November 23, 2018, from