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Creating an Effective Independent Reading Program

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Katie Williams

on 21 April 2011

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Transcript of Creating an Effective Independent Reading Program

Creating an Effective Independent Reading Program Advantages of Independent Reading "I believe that the choices, attention, and purpose required during independent reading allow students to begin or continue the transition from teacher-directed reading in school to the kind of reading we do as adult readers" (Allen, 2000, p. 98). "Independent reading not only provides students with the opportunity to experience a range of texts but also gives them the opportunity to spend extended time on particular texts" (Allen, 2000, p. 99). "Independent reading allows students the opportunity to explore pictures, charts, graphs, borders, rereading, checking other resources - the very areas that often get limited time when all students have to finish a text at the same time" (Allen, 2000, p. 99). For adolescents, independent reading can serve as a "consistent space in the school day" (Allen, 2000, p. 100) for "solitude and exploration" (Allen, 2000, p. 100). What does Independent Reading Look Like? Every student is reading independently. Teacher may also be reading independently. Students choose the books they read. "Independent reading time is the time students can begin to take responsibility for their reading habits and behaviors: learning to make good choices; learning when to abandon a book; discovering how to find books that support their author, genre, or theme tastes; and more important, how to find books that will help them know they are truly readers" (Allen, 2000, p. 101). Preparing Students for Independent Reading The goal of all other reading instructional approaches is "students' increased abilities during times of independence" (Allen, 2000, p. 101). Teachers should begin preparing their students for independent reading by providing them with a classroom library (Allen, 2000). However, "choice isn't choice if you don't know what your options are" (Allen, 2000, p. 103). Booktalking can be one way of advertising books to students. Allen (2000) said that book pass can be a "way to help students find books in which they [are] interested" (p. 103). http://murrayhill.wikispaces.com/Book_Pass "Book passes in our classes served to get students looking at a variety of books, making their own judgments on the interest and readability of the books, and finding books they were willing to seek out on independent reading days" (Allen, 2000, p. 104). Teachers should model thinking aloud so that they are demonstrating for students ways to choose books (Allen, 2000). "Book passes can be used to help students choose books from a diverse selection or to match themes, historical projects, genre study, and classroom inquiries" (Allen, 2000, p. 106). Other ways to show off books to students . . . "student-created book covers" (Allen, 2000, p.106) "student-created bookmarks" (Allen, 2000, p. 106) "posters, postcards, character sketches" (Allen, 2000, p. 106) "debates between characters in books" (Allen, 2000, p. 106) "readers' theater" (Allen, 2000, p. 106) Dealing with reluctant/struggling readers during Independent Reading "The key for these students is getting them started and ensuring that their experience with books becomes increasingly enjoyable and sustainable" (Allen, 2000, p. 108). Teachers may allow struggling readers to read independently with the aid of recorded books. Independent Literacy Exploration (ILE) Create an ILE Possibilities Chart (Allen, 2000, p. 120) to describe the variety of literacy options for Independent Reading time. In Allen's classroom, these options included: Prepare students for the Independent Reading time by ensuring that they have all materials available and easy access to books. Book Box "All students have a book box in which they store the books that they individually select from the classroom library. Students keep multiple books in their boxes" (Newingham). "Students take their book box with them to their book nook while they are reading. Inside the book box, students also keep sticky notes, pencils, and bookmarks" (Newingham). "When selecting books, students make sure to put enough books in their book box so that they do not have to spend time switching books for at least a week" (Newingham). Sources: Allen, J. (2000). Yellow brick roads: Shared and guided paths to independent reading 4-12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Newingham, B. Rockin' Room 13. Retrieved at http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/index.htm Yates, M. (6 March 2008). Independent reading strategies. Retrieved from http://www.suite101.com/content/independent-reading-a47016 books on tape research independent reading reading plays language collection word games/language play computer programs
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