SPES Reader

A Literacy Newsletter, January 28, 2016

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” ― Frank Serafini

A cold winter day is my favorite time to snuggle up with a good book. It is also the time of year when I hope for some snow! During the few weeks of winter, encourage your students to enjoy some indoor time with their "just right" books. Help make January and February opportunities for literacy growth.

Why Independent Reading?


The article below is from the Million Words Campaign.


Quite simply, reading can and does transform lives. Numerous studies have shown that increasing students’ volume of reading is one of the most important levers in increasing their achievement. Reading is so much more than an academic skill. Reading informs us, transports us, empowers us, and brings us joy. It is through reading that we learn about ourselves and the world around us. Every child deserves to be a reader.


Independent Reading: The Most Critical Lever

Over the past several decades, researchers have consistently found a strong relationship between the volume of students’ reading and their reading achievement. According to the National Reading Panel, “The importance of reading as an avenue to improved reading has been stressed by theorists, researchers, and practitioners alike, no matter what their perspectives. There are few other ideas as widely accepted than that reading is learned through reading.” Below you’ll find excerpts from some of the most widely cited reading research as well as recommended further reading.

  • The amount of time students spent in independent reading was the best predictor of reading achievement and also the best predictor of the amount of gain in reading achievement made by students between second and fifth grade.
  • Time engaged in reading during the reading period was significantly related to gains in students’ reading achievement. Because these findings emerged after controlling for prior reading achievement and after controlling for unreliability of the measure of prior reading achievement, we can argue that time spent reading in the classroom contributes significantly to growth in reading achievement.
  • The best predictor of reading achievement is the amount of time children spend reading books on their own.
  • Richard Allington, one of the foremost reading researchers believes that the research for increasing the volume of students’ reading is so strong that he contends, “If I were required to select a single aspect of the instructional environment to change, my first choice would be creating a schedule that supported dramatically increased quantities of reading during the school day.”


Please ensure reading success in your classroom by providing independent reading time every day,

Important Dates and Information

  • February 16th - Professional Development Day - 1st (8:00 am) and 3rd (11:30 am)
  • February 17th - Professional Development Day - K4, K (8:00 am) and 4th (11:30 am)
  • February 22nd - Professional Development Day - 2nd (8:00) and 5th (11:30)
    Please bring the following:
  • The Next Step in Guided Reading
  • The Reading Strategies Book
  • Updated F&P reading levels
  • Data from a student who is not progressing (ideas: reading logs, running records, any writing about reading, independent reading anecdotal notes, interest inventories, current SEI's and any other data that will help us learn more about your student). We will discuss and analyze this information, set goals and plan activities to use.
  • Lunch will be provided.
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