It's Episode 5 of my Reader's Workshop miniseries! One of the most difficult things for me to monitor in my classroom was independent reading. That's why it gets a whole special day during my MiniSeries!
The purpose of independent reading is to have students practice reading! Beyond that, they have to practice reading strategically. We want them to read for a purpose so they read closely and make meaning out of the text. These are some important points to consider when thinking about your Independent Reading
We have to build kids up a little bit at a time. I start the first day with a goal of six minutes, and I establish a few ground rules. We talk about what independent reading should look like, and we create an anchor chart.
At the end of the six minutes, I use the chart to have each student evaluate themselves with a fist of 5 (Kagan). 5 fingers = I did each thing on the chart. 3 = I did some things. 1 = I only did one or two things. Then we talk about how to make the next day better. I
I increase the time 2-3 minutes each day, until we are up to 40 minutes of independent reading time.
This is a sample item from my Reading Skills Pack: Context Clues!
The strategy/skill I want students to practice during independent reading aligns with the strategy we are currently practicing or we have already practiced, so students are able to practice it independently.
Check out the other "episodes" in the Reader's Workshop MiniSeries: