Managing Independent Reading - Room 213

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Managing Independent Reading

Most English teachers would agree that they love the idea of independent reading.  Who wouldn't want students that are highly engaged and interested in reading great books?

However, the idea can also be more than a little daunting, because when we give our students control over their choices, we lose control. I get a lot of questions about how to manage independent reading and have written a number of blog posts about how I do so.  I've collected them all here for easy reference:

How can you manage independent reading in middle and high school?
Three Reasons You Should Do Reader's Workshop in High School: There's a whole lot of fake reading going on in our classrooms, yet students need to read more.  This post discusses why.

Reader's Workshop Assessment: How do I assess my students when they aren't reading the same novel? That's a good question. I share what I do in this post.

Stocking Your Classroom Library: It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.

Reader's Workshop: Planning and Skill Building: When students are reading different novels at different times, you need to do some upfront planning to make sure they still work on the skills they need to work on.

Feeling the Love with Reader's Notebooks: I wrote this post about the first time I had my students put together their reader's notebooks.  They love to cut and paste, even in high school, and they especially love to personalize their books.

Learning Stations for Reader's Notebooks: Learning stations are a great way to get students to think about their novels and to focus on the skills you want them to work on.

Balancing Reader's Workshop with the Whole Class Novel: I love independent reading, but I still teach full class texts.  Here's how.

Getting Ready for My Reader's Workshop: In this post, I share how my first week of workshop went this fall.

How do you manage independent reading? If you have any awesome tips or ideas, please share in the comments!


  1. I do find independent reading a struggle with my class this year, they are quite a needy bunch and seem to spend reading times just waiting for it to be over. I have tried several ideas so far and will keep at it but this lot are a tricky bunch! Will read your other posts for some inspiration.

  2. Sometimes you do get a big crop of reluctant readers--that makes it extra hard. Have you had any conferences with individual students to find out what they like? I find that during conferences I'm able to get a good feel for what they might be interested in and then I can recommend titles that they might like to read. I always allow them to switch books if they aren't enjoying the one they are reading.


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