According to Supporting Students with Reading Disabilities Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning, , rehearsal and practice is one effective intervention for students with learning disabilities. As such, independent reading allows students to read, or re-read materials, in order to build fluency and practice the skills and strategies introduced during direct instruction. As a result, structures, supports, and strategies are essential in order for teachers to build an independent reading program so that all readers can improve.
Independent reading is one piece of a comprehensive literacy program. Many structures are necessary in order to successfully implement in an independent reading program in a classroom. Bear in mind that all learners require individualized accommodations and the supports that are essential for some students with learning disabilities to be successful may also be good supports for others.
A teacher must consider the following:. Independent reading provides all students with a powerful opportunity to practice and consolidate learning. When provided with individualized supports and structures, students with learning disabilities are able to engage in independent reading programs. Teacher involvement, modelling expected behavior, thoughtful scaffolding, and the opportunity for multiple entry points allow differentiation for individual learners and result in an opportunity for students with learning disabilities to grow and thrive. Daily opportunities for independent practice ensure that all students have the opportunity to reinforce learning, become independent, and enjoy of reading.
Allington, R. What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Every child, every day. Reading: the core skill 69 6 , Berkeley, S. Fostering self-regulation of students with learning disabilities: Insights from 30 years of reading comprehension intervention research. Bottoms, L. The effects of sustained silent reading on reading performance of black adolescent males with reading disabilities: Two case studies.
Catapano, J. EduGains Fountas, I. Guiding readers and writers, grades Teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy. Portsmouth, N. H: Heinemann. Johnson, P. Catching readers before they fall: Supporting readers who struggle, K Portland, Me: Stenhouse Publishers. Kurzweil EDU. Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning Addressing the needs of students with learning disabilities: Supporting inclusive schools. Module 3: Supporting students with reading disabilities.
Moss, R. Making independent reading work. Reading Rockets Building reading stamina. Schanzer, S. Independent reading for children with learning disabilities. Shimabukuro, S. I think teachers have to teach children how to choose just-right books for themselves, not teach children to rely on a leveling system.
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What happens when that child goes to the book fair, the public library, the bookstore or to a pile of books at a yard sale? We want to create real world readers who can assess whether a book will be a good choice independently. What happens when children are told their level?
Do we want kids who can identify what kind of reader they are or who can tell us what level they are? Instead of clamoring to read the new Mo Willems book, or an enticing picture book displayed at the library, children quickly dismiss books if they are not on their level and start to look down on children who are at a lower level.
The focus becomes all about a level instead of about reading, books, authors, genres, series books, or fabulous illustrations.
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When I sit down to confer with a child I never want the focus to be on what level we are aiming for. Do I have that in my head as a teacher? Of course. But I want children to be working on their reading and setting goals relating to thinking deeply about texts, authors, genres, a variety of topics, talking about reading with others, enjoying reading and creating a reading processing system that helps them in becoming fluent, flexible, strong readers.
What happens when parents are told the level that their child is reading? So do my students know their reading level? These are a few reasons why. But are leveled books important? Check back for Part II tomorrow when I will post on how I use leveled texts in my classroom as an important tool for teachers. I would love any thoughts on this post. I realize this may leave some people uncomfortable or unsure or questioning our practice.
Questioning and challenging how levels are being used, and what messages we are sending, might be an area where we need to be brave. Complacency will not get our students where they need to be.
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I am relaxed and happy when I am working with students, but I am also mindful of where I need to get them and how little time I have in which to do it. I teach every day with a sense of urgency. This year they came back to me loud and clear. I have a group of fabulous students. They are kind, loving, thoughtful, fun, curious, passionate, inquisitive and they need A LOT in the area of school literacy and academics.
Our beginning of the year assessments made it very clear to me that intentional teaching, with a sense of urgency, was essential for this year to be a success. Do we have fun? Do we play?
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Of course! Do I enjoy each day with my learners and do they enjoy being at school? For sure. Do I stay true to the belief that I teach children — not standards — every day? Cris Tovani.
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More About this Author. Resources Study Guide. Grade Range: Item No: ISBN: Related Titles. Readicide Kelly Gallagher. Deeper Reading Kelly Gallagher. Comprehending Content Video Cris Tovani.