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The Practice and Purpose of Independent Reading (K–5)

Is it ok if they “just read”? The ultimate responsibility for a reader is reading and thinking about a book they chose for themselves. But how to support our students to “just read” during independent reading time is a challenge for many of us. This panel session will explore possibilities for bringing independent reading time alive in the classroom. Bring your questions and bring your ideas for this interactive panel discussion around independent reading!

Independent reading is the time when readers orchestrate all the skills and strategies that have been previously taught in Read Aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, and Skills times. This is when students self-initiate, self-monitor, and self-regulate. Research on the importance is independent reading in self-selected texts is clear—this is what leads to student achievement.

Self-selected texts chosen for independent reading may come from a general school or classroom library. Texts used in read aloud, shared reading, and guided reading must be included in the options made available for students. As they revisit texts and conversations around those texts, readers take on more responsibility for reading the books for themselves.

Materials that may be emphasized:
Flying Start to Literacy, WorldWise, Exploration, Lift Off to Literacy (supporting the idea that books used in guided reading should become part of what students reread during independent reading), New Heights

Professional Development Menu

3 Full-Day Sessions
1.5-3-Hour Session Descriptions
Instructional Strategies
Read Aloud / Shared Reading
Guided Reading
Reading Instruction
Writing Instruction
Assessment
Purposeful Talk
Intervention
Classroom Management
Spanish/Biliteracy