|From Google Images|
Independent reading is one of those times often listed in one's schedule for the day. I have always had a strong belief of what independent reading time should be:
- enough time for students to become engaged (30ish minutes)
- full of choice and just right books
- teacher confers during this time to monitor comprehension, engagement, book choices to support goal setting
- accountability- I use Status of the Class
- no writing assignments, no completing other assignments...the only writing that does occur is when a student feels the need to write random jots of "while reading thinking" for future conversations
- recommendations, sharing books, and creating next stacks take place before this time so time is not lost randomly searching for books, wandering through the library...the next book is always ready so eyes on print time is not wasted!
Then I started reading, Notice and Note by Beers and Probst. These authors have challenged me to not just think about the independent reading time but actually define an independent READER. What is an independent reader? I had always lumped my definition with this time and reader together...thinking about them separately has stretched my thinking. These quotes from page 6 have me rereading, thinking, and rereading again...
"Independent reading is the ability to read a text on one's own with deep engagement, with attention to what might sway the reader's judgement or acceptance one way or the other."
"Independent readers are not only able to read without depending on the teacher to help them make sense of the text, but also are able to stand independent of the text itself, choosing on their own, with evidence from the text to justify the decision to agree or disagree, to accept the author's vision and thinking or reject it."
Here are some other posts on structuring an independent reading time so the independent reader has time to be thoughtful.