Monday, June 15, 2020

Instruction for Vulnerable Readers: Independent Reading

The best predictor of how well children will read is the amount of time they spend reading. This time spent reading must be engaged reading, that is students must not just be looking at the book, but actively engaged in parsing the words on the page and making meaning from those combinations of words. Reading volume is defined as the amount of time children spend reading and the number of words they encounter during that time. As children encounter more words, they apply their problem solving skills to the novel words they encounter, reinforce the skills they already have, build vocabulary, build knowledge, and build stamina for further reading.

It makes sense then, that the best reinforcement a teacher can provide for all the good instruction they are doing in class, is to give students time for independent reading. We would also hope, of course, that children would be motivated by our instruction to do lots of reading outside of school, but in school independent reading, guided and reinforced by the watchful teacher, gives all children a chance to build reading volume.

Here are a few posts on independent reading from my blog. The first one proved to be the most popular entry I ever posted.

Independent Reading: A Research-Based Defense

Independent Reading: One Key to Balanced Literacy Instruction

When Readers Struggle: Increase Encounters with Text

Fostering a Love of Reading in Children

How to Make a Frequent Reader

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