Independent Reading Center

Students choose books on their independent reading level and can complete a some form of a reader response.  Many teachers have their students keep a reader's response notebook to record their responses.  The independent reading center takes place in and around the classroom library.  It is important for teachers to teach mini-lessons on choosing the right books.  Also, teachers should administer running records periodically to learn each student's independent and instructional reading level. 

Some ideas for independent reading center/station:

Reading Log: Students keep track of the books they read by filling out their reading log.

Task/Discussion Cards: Students choose a task/discussion card to respond to, either in writing or orally with another partner.

Graphic Organizers: These sheets help students organize their thinking.

Book Report: Various book reports can be used, from simple to more complex. Great way to track kids' understanding of text.

Comprehension Strategies: Connections, questioning, inferring, synthesizing, visualization

Literary Elements: Students can practice identifying characters, plot, setting, theme, etc. 

Author /Genre Studies: Students can read books on a particular author or genre.

Reading Buddies: Students read in pairs.  Also, student can use stuffed animals as reading partners. Students choose a "partner" to whom they can read to. This is particularly effective for shy or insecure students.  This activity has been proven to help children develop their reading fluency.

Book Reviews: Display "Books of the Month" or "Books of the Week" which all students are required to read. Students then use a form to write a summary and a review of the book(s) they have completed.  The reviews can be discussed among the class (when all students have completed their reviews) and the class can make a graph on likes, dislikes, favorite book, favorite character, etc.

Recommendation Chart: Create a chart to post in the reading center. Have students recommend books they have read by writing the title and author.

Weekly Reader/Scholastic News Center: Does your class receive Weekly Readers, Scholastic News, or any other magazine? What do you do with the extras? You can create a center with the extra magazines. Place 1 or 2 issues in a container. Create questions or activities for each issue for students to work on.

Questions: Students can generate questions about the text they read.

Write a Letter: Students write a letter to a buddy or the teacher about the text they've read.

Reading Log Task/Discussion Cards Book Reports Literary Elements Page
Fluency Page Book Review Sheet    


More Sites and Resources

Independent Reading Independent Reading Contract Independent Reading  Independent Reading Rubric


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