Teaching students to read doesn't just happen during guided
reading. It happens over a wide range of instruction with varying levels of
support. It is through independent reading that students discover their
individual tastes, which is one of the first steps to becoming a lifelong
"In order to help students fall in love with reading, give them books they want to read." ~Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
What is independent reading?
Independent reading offers students the chance to read,
enjoy, and interact with books that they choose in order to gain
"mileage" as readers. During independent reading, students read books
of their choosing, while the teacher, through minilessons, helps them apply
understandings to their own reading and learn how to choose books they can
enjoy. When they enjoy the books they read, they WANT to talk about them! When
students share their thinking about books through talk, they build a community
of learners around them.
What is the teacher's role in independent reading?
Even though independent reading requires the least amount of
teacher support out of all the literacy instructional contexts, teachers still
need to be able to guide their choices. If teachers tell a student to go ahead
and choose any book, they might not know where to start, which will waste
precious time that could be spent reading! In order to avoid this,
teachers will need to confer with them often about what books they're reading
in order to discover their tastes and point them in the right direction. It's
important to remember, however, that students should choose books according to
what interests them, not according to what reading level they're at.
How can the Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Independent Reading Collection help teachers guide independent reading in the classroom?
Fountas and Pinnell believe that children need to read A LOT
in order to build the stamina they need to become a lifelong reader. The Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ Independent Reading
Collection was curated by Fountas and Pinnell to provide
high-quality trade books that help students explore their interests, flourish
as readers, and develop the ability to independently read increasingly
challenging texts. The collection includes 150 trade titles per grade in K-2
and 200 per grade in 3-6 and a conferring card for each book. Through brief, individual
conferences, teachers can observe and extend students' understanding of the
text as well as support their thinking.
The Independent Reading Collection also
includes a brief guide that provides an overview of the components and
implementation of the collection, as well as Online Resources where teachers
can find the resources needed for each independent reading conference, and a
video library. To learn more about this exciting collection click here!
~The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Team™
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