Ways To Promote Independent Reading
Set aside time for independent reading. Time for reading independently doesn’t just happen. Plan for it by making it a priority. Find at least 15 minutes a day (20 recommended) for self-selecting, independent reading.
Create Literacy-Rich Experiences. A literacy-rich environment – full of print, books, and reading materials – not only supports the Common Core standards, but also provides a setting that encourages and supports speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a variety of authentic ways – through print & digital media. Students need access to interesting books and materials – both in print and online. When students are provided, they interact more with books, spend more time reading, exhibit more positive attitudes toward reading, and exhibit higher levels of reading achievement (NAEP, 2002).Modeling the reading process is a great way to spend time and exposes students to more complex vocabulary than they typically hear or read.
Create a “Caught Reading” Campaign that features family members reading! Parents and family members need to create a reading culture at home. It is important to promote reading as a lifestyle. Students need to see and “catch” their parents and teachers as readers. Create pictures and bookmarks that feature your favorite book picks to help lead children to independent reading.
Encourage Students to Read Widely. Sometimes students get in a rut and don’t read beyond their favorite genre or author. Encourage students to read outside of their preferred genres. To build a wide vocabulary and broad background knowledge, students need to read in a wide variety of genres and text types. Through book talks, read alouds, and book displays, open students’ eyes to new authors, genres, and text types.
Host Book Clubs for Students and Parents. A community of readers sometimes happens naturally; however, book clubs are a perfect way to foster connectivity around books and reading. Students can even host their own book clubs with their friends! This is especially fun to do in the summer to keep the reading flow! “Books and Bagels” or “Books and Bubblegum” can be a perfect duo for book club themes!
Visit the Local Library or School Library. Work with the local library to learn about and support their programs, services, and resources for students. Obtain a library card and learn about how the public library can support your child’s reading needs. There are many ways to support independent reading during the summer months, too!
Finding Great Books! It’s not easy keeping current with new books in children’s and young adult literature; however, there are many excellent book lists, reviews, and websites to steer students and parents in the right direction. Explore book lists and websites to your liking!
Host a Read-In. Books, pizza, and a pajama party can be lots of fun! Host a read-in with your child and some of their book buddies!
Share Books through BookTalks. Readers need to share books with one another. Book Talks are a perfect way for students to share books with one another.
Create Video Book Commercials. Creating videos is easier than ever and kids love to do it. Have students, teachers, staff, and community members create book commercials promoting a favorite book or author.
Adapted work by Kimberly Tyson, Ph.D.