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Independent Reading

The independent reading workshop is a systematic way of supporting and guiding students as they read on their own. Teachers begin with a mini-lesson that targets a reading skill or strategy. Students are then released to silently read books of their own choosing while the teacher confers with individuals. At the closure of each workshop, students share in partnerships or whole group the applied strategies and new learning that has occurred.

Fountas and Pinnell, 2001

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Comparing Text: Levels J & K
In order to support students in Guided Reading, participants engage in an analysis of books leveled J and K.  Guiding questions:   What makes level K more challenging than level J?  What are the instructional implications for moving students from level J to K?

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Mini-Lesson Resources, Conferring, and "Just Right" Books
A continuation of the Independent Reading workshop model demonstrated with 8th Grade students.  Participants are provided additional resources to support the development of mini-lessons.  Katherine Casey models the thinking work behind her conferring notes (taken from her demo with 8th Grade students).  Helping students find “Just Right” books and how to grade Independent Reading were additional topics discussed. 

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Independent Reading with 8th Grade Students
Adults observe Katherine Casey model four components of Independent Reading Workshop (i.e. mini-lesson, independent reading, conferring, share) with 8th Grade Students.  The focus for the Independent Reading Workshop is to use what we know about genres to focus our independent reading.

Thursday, January 18, 2007
A Closer Look at Independent Reading in Secondary Schools
Katherine Casey addresses some of the frequently asked questions about Independent reading in secondary schools.  Topics discussed:  (1) Scheduling, (2)  Connecting Read Aloud & Shared Reading with Independent Reading, (3) Mini-lessons (architecture, types of & planning for).  Adults engage in a professional read and discussion about procedures.  Texts referenced: “An Instructional Guide to Literay,” New York Dept. of Ed, and Teaching Reading in Middle School by Laura Robb.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Conferring and Coaching During Independent Reading - Middle School
What is the teacher’s role during Independent Reading? What can teachers learn about students during conferencing?  What kinds of supports can teachers provide students during Independent Reading?  Shannon Maul models how to develop theories about students’ strengths and needs by modeling Independent Reading conferences with three 8th grade students.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Independent Reading in Secondary Schools
What is Independent Reading?  How do we get students motivated to read?  What kinds of books do students in secondary schools like to read? These are a few of the many questions Professional developers Katherine Casey and Shannon Maul addressed in this staff development. The following professional resource is referenced:  Teaching Reading in Middle School by Laura Robb.  Stephen Krashen and Kelly Gallagher are also referenced.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Conferring & Coaching During Independent Reading - Elementary School
What is the teacher’s role during Independent Reading?  Katherine Casey models how to use multiple sources of data to develop theories about students’ strengths and needs.  Katherine applies this knowledge by modeling Independent Reading conferences with two elementary students.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Independent Reading in Elementary Schools
What is Independent Reading?  What are students doing during Independent reading?  What are students reading?  How do teachers get to know students as readers?  These are a few of the questions Katherine Casey addresses in this staff development.  The following professional resource is referenced: Balancing Reading & Language Learning by Mary Capellini.  Stephen Krashen and Laura Robb are also referenced.
Wednesday, September 6, 2005
Assessing Students Through Informal Interviews
The focus for the day’s staff development is to rethink how we gather information about students using materials we already have and use it in smarter ways.  Katherine Casey interviews 3rd grade and 7th grade students while adults take notes to develop theories about each student’s strengths and next steps.  Each student interview is analyzed, and the structure of student interviews is discussed.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Organizing A Classroom Library for Independent Reading
Katherine Casey leads participants through a discussion about classroom libraries.  To support all students, especially at risk readers, Katherine addresses the need for libraries to be organized in ways that are attractive and make sense to students.  Over time, organized libraries should evolve and continue to support teachers in matching books to readers.  When considering library organization, participants are asked to think about genres, authors, themes, topics of students’ interest and reading levels.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Independent Reading Workshop: Overview and Mini-Lesson Demo
Katherine Casey explains what Independent Reading Workshop is and what it isn’t through the lens of balanced literacy.  Participants view a demonstration video of the transition from shared reading to independent reading workshop which is followed by a mini-lesson.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Independent Reading Workshop: Overview and Conferring
Katherine Casey provides the architecture of conferring during independent reading workshop.  The participants view a 5th grade videotaped demonstration of conferring.  Katherine leads participants through the components of conferring (research, decide, teach, plan) and models the variety of ways to gather data.
| Independent Reading | Lesson Planning | Read Aloud | Shared Reading |