Month: August 2017


Q & A on Independent Reading

Part 6 of The Independent Reading Series
(Originally posted on Sept. 23, 2015.)

In keeping with our independent reading series, we asked teachers from the districts where we work to share some of their ideas and responses to a few of the most asked questions about independent reading. Here’s what they said!

What are some ways you’ve found to inspire and motivate reluctant readers?

• iPads: Storia
• Raz-Kids
• Letting go of my “issues”—i.e. if Captain Underpants is what motivates them, so be it.
• Summer […]

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Part 5: Independent Reading—The Foundation of Vocabulary Instruction

Part 5 of The Independent Reading Series
(Originally posted on October 6, 2015.)

How is it possible that something as simple as independent reading can provide such rich results for students? In education, we often try to make answers to problems too complex.

How have people been learning new vocabulary for centuries? Through reading and academic conversations. Young children develop early vocabulary by listening to adults and other children talk and by engaging in talk with their peers and adults. They also learn […]

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Part 4: The Importance of Series Reading

Part 4 of The Independent Reading Series
(Originally posted on Sept. 10, 2015.)

Students need regular, daily exposure to texts they can read. The more they read with confidence, the more adept they become. I’ve often heard parents complain that their children are reading “fluffy” series books and that they wish they would read books of substance, or the classics. In actuality, these “fluffy” series books give students the practice they need to become more confident readers.

When I think of all of […]

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Part 3 – Independent Means Independent—The Importance of Student Choice

Part 3 of The Independent Reading Series
(Originally posted on Sept. 1, 2015.)

In his article A Skill for Life, high school teacher Steve Gardiner explains that “We write learning objectives, create computerized reading programs, and schedule day-by-day instruction, but we often ignore the fact that human beings most frequently succeed at activities they enjoy.” He goes on to say, “We don’t need to spend a lot of money or design complicated programs to help students learn to enjoy reading; we just […]

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