Throughout the school year, students will be asked to engage in independent reading, which refers to reading self-selected books that are appropriate for the student to read independently. Independent Reading provides an opportunity to apply strategies that are introduced and taught during interactive read aloud, the study of whole class novels, and guided reading. When students practice reading using materials that are appropriate for their level and can be read independently with success, students become confident, motivated and enthusiastic about their ability to read.
Students make great contributions to their own learning when they are given some control and ownership of the reading process. The self-selection process of Independent Reading places the responsibility for choosing books in the hands of the student. This teaches them that they have the ability to choose their own reading materials and that reading by themselves is a valuable and important activity.
While students are free to choose what they like, they are encouraged to select a variety of literature and to select materials at their independent reading level. Independent means that students can read the material with 95% to 100% accuracy and understand the material without teacher support. It is at the independent level that comprehension, vocabulary extension and fluency are improved.