Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Independent Reading

Yesterday, I mentioned my roaming reader.  I always have a few of these every year.  However, these readers represent the most benign behavior challenges that I have during independent reading.  I also have students who are so disruptive that I have to interrupt independent reading or completely stop and move on to another activity.

Needless to say, there has not been a lot of independent reading in my classroom.  It just hasn't been productive.  However, I know that it is an important component of any reading program because students need time to practice the skills that I teach them.

I'm going to try independent reading again.   But this time, I am going to make a few changes in my rollout.

This summer, I've been participating in a fantastic book study of:

I have tried the Daily 5 before to little success.  I see now that I assumed too much.  I assumed that fifth graders knew how to sit for 30-minutes and read the entire time.  It's just not true.  It's probably not even true for most adults!  What was I thinking?   Just like you and I can't run a marathon without proper training, students can not be expected to read for that long when they have never done it before.  

In the Daily 5, the "sisters" suggest starting the first day with 3 minutes and then building the time gradually from there.   Once students show the proper reading behavior (i.e. reading the entire time without interruption), then I can gradually add on the minutes.  It's all about stamina (You are right Anel! :-).

If you are interested in the book study, you can find it here:

Tons of excellent teachers are involved and we only just finished Chapter 4 in the Daily 5.  Not too late to join :-)

1 comment:

  1. Jo, I am so thrilled to see this is an actual thing! This is how I got Colin "reading" books with me, we started out with a few minutes of totally focused reading time when he was tiny and now at 5 we are enjoying whole chapters at one go. He loves reading and is so "eskited" to learn to read big words and take over reading aloud duties bedtime! Good luck!