System 44
What's Trending In Independent Reading

It's summer, and time to plan some options for the Independent Reading Rotation for your classes.  Technology programs, classroom schedules, and the needs of our students change faster than a flash of lightning.  To get you started, here's what's trending in Independent Reading.

Numerous Text-to-Speech Options- Students use this rotation to read eReads, eBooks, audiobooks, text-to-speech articles from online magazines such as Scholastic's Action or Scope magazines, and articles from the internet using Don Johnston's "Snap & Read Universal" application.

Snap & Read Universal

This program allows any text from any source, including PDF documents, to be read aloud to the reader. The program also levels the text complexity of the article for each student under the settings/options for the student. So essentially, our students can read Antigone by Sophocles and understand it.

Student Choice - Students start the school year choosing texts that may be below their Lexile level but within their current interest range. These books can be from your classroom library, the school's library and even books from the student's home.  When students complete a book or article and demonstrate an understanding of it, then they achieve success.

Assessment: Students demonstrate an understanding of the book outside of traditional quizzes.

Here is what's trending:

Book Shares/Talks: Students speak of the book to the class. Book talks are hip and create an audience for the students' work while also fostering a passion for reading.  See my former blog about book talks.

Book Reviews: Use Goodreads or Amazon as examples.  Students write and post a review.  If this is not possible, then use the book review criteria I created for Buddy by MH Herlong and The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum.  Feel free to modify the form to suit your students' needs.

 Buddy's Book Review Criteria

The Wizard of Oz's Book Review 

Feedback (Can You Hear Me Now???)  -  Regular conferences with the students, so teachers learn more about their book and what they understand about it. Consistently record comments on their journal entries and reading logs. Don't let too much time pass before you notice a lag in their reading.

Real-Time Praise- As students are accustomed to instant feedback from various social media accounts, teachers let students know that they are engaged in the texts they are reading using different Google Forms.


Teachers are also giving feedback and holding book discussions with their students via the class web page, and the Reading Counts Points and Reading Counts Certificates available in SAM.

Model Independent Reading-Routines and procedures are being modeled with the class at the beginning of the year. Do not think that the kids will just "figure it out." The strong instructional practice of "I do, we do, you do" comes into play in real time. I often note that many students have never experienced real reading before my class. It can be compared to asking students to drive a car without them ever haven taken a ride in a car before. So, model the Independent Reading Rotation before asking your students to participate in it.

Author's Note:

The goal of any reading instruction is to get our students to read without the support of the teacher, teacher assistant, or one-to-one aide.  Adults read for information and enjoyment and know how to access supports, such as technology, to assist in comprehending and applying text that is read.

We need to prepare our students for the real world: The world that requires them to read, analyze, synthesize, interpret, and apply information learned that will impact their lives.  

So what's trending in your Independent Reading Rotation? The READ 180 Community wants to know.  Please post your thoughts in the Comments Section below.


System 44 Educator