Friday, August 12, 2011

Literacy Passport, pt 2: Independent Reading

The next few entries in this series will expand on my approach to the Daily 5. Today's component is:

1. Independent Reading - This is a gorgeous, relaxing getaway for two - you and a book! Just as it sounds, students get the opportunity to cozy up with a book and read quietly to themselves.

Independent Reading is not a complicated task and students are not responsible for much in the time provided. Students self-select a text that the "PICK", they record the date and the title, they read, and finally (and the most challenging) they think about what they have read. That's it! C'est ca!

I intentionally ask for very little from my students in this time so they can read as much as possible. In a 30 minute window, a lot of reading can be enjoyed. Once you ask student to record answers on worksheets about their writing, time that could have been spent on reading skills is lost. I think it is just as effective to have a casual conversation with the student.

I guess what it comes down to is a very simple, yet potentially heated debate.

What's more meaningful: a daily dose of one to two written sentences that respond to a predetermined set of questions, or an verbal conversation where questions can respond to the preceding answers? 28 minutes of reading and a 2 minute conversation, or 20 minutes of reading and a 10 minute response exercise?

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