Independent reading time is a time when students read text (either self selected or teacher recommended) at their independent reading level to practice reading strategies, develop fluency and automaticity. The teacher confers with students one-on-one and prompts the use of strategies, discusses various aspects of the text, and learns about each student as a reader. Students may respond to the text in meaningful ways through writing, discussing, or sketching.
- Student chooses any book to read
- Teacher may guide the selection
- Daily time to read, 30 minutes or more
- Excellent classroom library and is essential
- Students reads mostly "just-right" books
- Teacher monitors comprehension
- Student keeps a reading record
- Teaching occurs during a conference
- Teacher and student set reading goals
Strategies for students to use when reading:
- Try using the strategies that have been taught in class.
- Notice how the character is behaving and what makes him or her behave that way (for fiction).
- Visualize a setting the author describes.
- Make a connection to your life.
- Reread when you lose meaning.
- Use what you already know to figure out a word means.
- Notice how an illustration or visual helps your understanding.