Independent reading is the final stage of comprehensive literacy. It requires students to take responsibility for their reading and to self-select and read materials at "just-right" levels.

At this stage, students demonstrate capability in navigating texts and practice what they have learned about comprehending text. By self-selecting books, students take control of what they read and thereby become confident, motivated, and enthusiastic about reading.

During independent reading, students keep logs and reading response journals and the teacher is required to review them, conference with individual students, and monitor their progress.

Tips for Independent Reading

Teachers can promote independent reading by:

  • Teaching students how to use and manage a classroom library, sharing the way that books are organized, and modeling how students can check out and return books
  • Sharing guidelines and rules for students who might seek help during independent reading time
  • Leading a discussion about the different ways that people choose books, and creating a list (books that are movies, books of certain genres, colorful pictures, etc.)

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Independent Reading: Quick, Easy & Effective!