Saturday, October 6, 2018

Self Selected Independent Reading

I think many of us can agree that reading is a huge part of a child's education. There are so many different programs out there and all have their pros and cons but the one thing I can say across the board is that allowing students to read independently MUST be included. Not only reading independently but allowing students to choose the texts that they want to read, rather than being told what to read.

That's right, even our students with the most significant needs should participate in self selected/ independent reading. It may look different but giving them the opportunity is what should be occurring in classrooms.

Students in my room get 20-30 minutes everyday for self selected reading. During this time I do not tell my students what to read and the only instruction happening is behavior/classroom management. I even encourage the staff in my room to bring their own reading material as this is a great way to model for the students.

We start the year off trying to do this for 3 minutes and build up our stamina. Everyday we add a minute until we have reached 20-30 minutes of total reading time. During this time I allow students to not only pick their own reading materials but they are able to pick their own reading spots. I have many seating options and all are available.

My students love to read a variety of texts and I make sure to share with them what is available. I do this by using a variety of texts during shared reading time and showing them where they are located or how to access them.

I have traditional texts, adapted books, student made books and technology available for students. Some of our favorite websites/apps for books are Tarheel Reader (free), Unite for Literacy (free) and Raz-Kids (paid).


Do you have self-selected, independent reading time in your classroom? What does it look like? Would you want to add or change anything to your routine?

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