5 Compelling Reasons to Say Yes to Book Candy

My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I love everything about them: the small size cups, peeling off the paper and the perfect mix of the soft peanut butter with the hard chocolate. There is nothing I don’t like. But if I ate them all the time, I’d probably get really tired of them. […]

By |September 29th, 2017|Independent Reading|0 Comments

From Reluctant to Engaged: 4 Secrets to End Fake Reading

A few months ago, I went to Michigan Reading Association’s annual conference to learn—and to share what I’ve learned throughout my career with Michigan teachers. I attended two sessions on engaging readers and combating fake readers, and one of my presentations was titled “From Reluctant to Engaged: Secrets to End Fake Reading.” All three sessions […]

By |August 15th, 2017|Independent Reading|8 Comments

Choose, Check and Champion Student Reading

When I was asked by my principal to create a skills class for my developing readers nearly 10 years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate a choice reading program that was structured, but loose enough where students could choose, check and champion their own reading without the risk of an assessment or using reading […]

By |July 11th, 2017|Independent Reading|0 Comments

8 Alternatives to Reading Logs for Holding Students Accountable During Independent Reading

Research validates what we already know, that time spent reading improves reading achievement (Anderson, 1985; Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988; Fielding & Pearson, 1994; Taylor, Frye, & Maruyama, 1990). It sounds simple, but I’ve never had a class in twenty-four years where students would just go get a book and read on the first day […]

By |June 30th, 2017|Independent Reading|6 Comments

Spring (Book) Love: Popular High School Books That Are Transforming My Students into Readers

Driving home from school at this time of year, Missouri is beautiful. My favorite stretch of road dips down into a shallow valley and then swings back up revealing the soft purple flowers of a Rosebud tree, a white Dogwood in full bloom and the new green of Maples and Oaks. Everyday my eyes want […]

By |May 19th, 2017|Independent Reading|0 Comments

Just Right Books and Shoes: Helping Students Find the Right Fit

Do you remember when you were a kid, and every phase of your life seemed to last forever? You couldn’t imagine that your current situation would ever come to an end. This can be wonderful if it’s summer vacation, but can be a real trial for a struggling reader.

Many of our students who have reading […]

By |March 28th, 2017|Independent Reading|0 Comments

The Heart of Literacy: The Research on Independent Reading

I was able to work with Pam Allyn on a project a while back, and of the many wonderful things she said, one thing in particular stood out: Accountable independent reading is the heart of balanced literacy. There was something about the words “accountable” and “heart” that impacted me.

At first we might think of accountability […]

By |September 16th, 2015|Independent Reading|6 Comments