respond to at least two of your peers. Elaborate on any agreements and disagreements. Share your own personal and professional experiences with independent reading practices.
In your discussion posting, you will cite at least two articles. (These articles do not need to be peer-reviewed or scholarly.) Address the following questions in your posting:
What are at least two benefits of independent reading practices?
Students gain independence and interest in reading as well as heightened reading literacy. Furthermore, according to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt or Hmhco (2017), independent reading increases reading proficiency by 60%, improves student motivation and success, and creates more independent readers and students (Hmhco,2017). Finally, independent reading fundamentally leads to improved comprehension; it builds vocabulary, increases fluency, and develops background knowledge and cultural literacy (Rasinski, 2013).
According to Judy Newman of The NeaToday journal, reading is not only an important tool for building usable bit it allows students to put words into context which allows them to create ideas and thusly, a strong dynamic to “translate your thoughts and ideas (and hopes and dreams), and communicate them to others” (Long,2016).
What are at least two challenges of independent reading practices?
Getting kids to be interested in reading is one of the greatest challenges to independent reading. Additionally, having students read text which is still academically relevant but which is also interesting to them, seems to be a great concern as well.
Secondly, choosing and assigning books age appropriate for every learning level and reading level can be a challenge for teachers. In many cases each class is devised of several levels of readers so simply assigning a book for “all” to read, can be problematic particularly for slower and beginning readers. Because of this, many teachers do not try and incorporate higher level reading books which excel reading levels and strengths in vocabulary in students, rather they play it safe sort to speak, and choose lower level reading books easier for all to follow along with but which provide little to no challenges for students (Long,2016).
What is your own philosophy about providing students independent reading time in schools?
I think the benefits outweigh any other hardships it might cause. I know time is a precious thing in classrooms but reading competency literally defines and shapes future success in the classroom so the steps which leads up to student fluency should be a priority for teachers to implement; which includes providing adequate and sufficient independent reading time. Making reading cool again is the best way to get the attention of students and make then want to read. We can incorporate electronic devices as a way to do this, make them excited about technologies they use every day such as Nooks and Kindles if possible.
How would you organize your class schedule and classroom to accommodate independent reading? (Think about your classroom library.)
Researchers have found that students who have access to a collection of quality
Book’s in their classrooms read 50-60% more than students who don’t (Hmhco,2017). It goes without saying, that the first thing I can do to improve my classroom, is to maintain a well-stocked, high-quality classroom library which can generate interest and motivation for reading as well as support differentiated instruction through better matching of students with texts appropriate to them. Furthermore, providing the means to the practice the necessary skills to develop these expert reading skills is essential to how my classroom is organized.
Finally, allowing students 15-20 minutes a day of independent reading and study can make all the difference in the world for my student’s success. I can accommodate this time in class by incorporating independent reading into lessons. It’s not necessary to stop class and have students read during this time; rather it works just as well having students incorporate this reading time during active lessons. For instance, a lesson might consist of a reading activity which asks students to look for key vocabulary words in a provided set of chapters.
The teacher can provide students with the book or chapters and have them read them independently then answer a set of questions about the vocabulary words. To peak student interest however, I might have student provide a text of their choosing which upon my approval, they can do an essay on after reading it independently.
Long, Cindy. (2016. February 02.). Independent reading in the classroom critical to Student Achievement. [Web]. Retrieved from http://neatoday.org/2016/02/02/independent-reading-classroom-critical-student-achievement/
Hmhco. (2017). Independent reading. [Web]. Retrieved from https://www.hmhco.com/~/media/sites/home/classroom/classroom-solutions/independent-reading-libraries/hmh_independent_reading_libraries2.pdf?la=en
Rasinski, T. & Padak, N.D. (2013). From phonics to fluency: Effective teaching of decoding and reading fluency in the elementary school. NJ: Pearson.
There are many benefits to independent reading such as improvement of comprehension and vocabulary skills. Independent reading encourages students to build interest in reading because they are able to choice the text to read. This allows them to figure out the kinds of book they like. We all know the benefits in reading to build fluency if students find material that is interesting to them they will be encouraged to read often. “Students who begin reading a book in school are more likely to continue to read outside of school than students who do not begin a book in school” (Cullinan, 2000) Some challenges I can think of when it comes to independent reading is that the students do not have anyone to turn to when they need help with a word or words and that the teacher is not able to focus on each students independently especially if they are silent reading. I believe independent adding is important and students should be given time and resources to read. The four block strategy would help me set up independent reading in my classroom. I would make sure that I provide the students with comfortable areas to read such as bean bags or carpet time. Providing a library that has a selection of genres and authors so students can have a lot of choices is important. Having some iPads or computers will also help the students have access to many different reading materials.
Cullinan, B. (2000) Independent Reading and School Achievement. Retrieved from
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (n.d) Benefits of Independent Reading – hmhco.com. Retrieved from https://www.hmhco.com/classroom/classroom-solutions/independent-reading-libraries/benefits