3 Ways to Build Lifelong Independent Readers

Just 15 minutes a day of independent reading a day showed gains for students of all ages in their reading growth. Here are three ways to build that time into your busy school day. 

Help Students Identify their Interests

Sometimes it can be hard to find something to read but choosing the right text is key to building strong reading habits. Students’ interest in what they’re reading is directly related to their comprehension and engagement in the reading. Through short conferences or surveys, teachers can help students start to understand what they like to read and what they are interested in. 

Give Students Choice

Let students choose where they read, what they read and when they read. This choice will build student ownership in their reading, increase intrinsic motivation to continue practicing and become lifelong readers. 

Scaffold Daily Reading Practice

For many students, reading for 15 minutes, let alone reading aloud, can feel daunting. With simple scaffolds, you can transform that feeling of consternation into confidence.

  • Model the reading for students by reading aloud to them.
  • Choose key vocabulary to preview for students (even include a picture).
  • Add comprehension questions for students to talk about what they read and guide understanding.

Renaissance. “The Magic of 15 Minutes: Reading Practice and Reading Growth.” Renaissance, 26 Apr. 2022, https://www.renaissance.com/2018/01/23/blog-magic-15-minutes-reading-practice-reading-growth/.

Lewis, M., & Samuels, S. J. (2005). Read more—read better? A meta-analysis of the literature on the relationship between exposure to reading and reading achievement. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

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