Developing Independence in your Reading Programme

Hey everyone!

I love when kids are able to learn independently.  The less they need me, the more I feel I've done my job right.  I'm here today with 5 ways you can develop this independence in your reading programme today!

1. Games!

My kids LOVE that I let them play games during learning time.  They seriously don't even realise that I'm still getting them to play.  Using games that encourage them to talk, use their vocabularies, and share ideas are perfect for developing reading sense!  Some of my all time favourites are (in no particular order!)

Taboo (or Forbidden words)


Hedbanz

and Scrabble!



2. Use "Must do, May do" contracts

Once my students understand how each part of my programme works, I set them up with Must Do, May Do learning contracts.  Basically, each student has a range of learning tasks they must complete either over the day, or the week.  They choose the order they complete the tasks in.  As the name suggests there are a range of tasks that they MUST do, and then they can choose from a range of tasks that they would like to do next.  
Use technology like iPads and Chrome books to your advantage.  Get the kids to check in with you frequently using google forms.

3. Require students to solve their own problems

How many times have you had a child come up to you and say "Jonny is annoying me..." or "Susan took my pencil..."  While this idea isn't related directly to reading time, I've found it highly effective to answer back with  "How could you solve that problem?"
My students know two things when I ask them that.

1. I think they are capable of solving that problem (and they generally are!)

2. They are walking a thin line towards whining and tattling.  

When I ask my kids that question, I also expect an answer.  They give me a possible solution to their problem and then I send them back to give it a go.  More often than not those kids are able to use their own solutions to solve this minor problem, and then they get back on with their work!  Give it a go!

4. Set challenging time limits and work goals 

I don't know about you, but I work better when I have a goal in mind.  When I know I have to produce a certain amount of work within a time frame, I use that time to get things done.  I'm the kind of person that works better with a shorter time frame.  Set different goals for different groups of kids if need be!  You know what your kids are like, some will like 10 minute sets, others can cope with a week!

5. Differentiate with higher order thinking tasks

I am a huge fan of Bloom's taxonomy and other higher order thinking resources.  Using them to develop differentiated tasks is a great way to develop independence in your readers!

Check out my two Bloom's Taxonomy Reading Response resources in TPT now.  These two sets are great for helping your readers develop independence.  You can set your students up with a specific questioning level, a range across the taxonomy, or even get the kids to choose for themselves - it is independence we are looking for afterall!



Check them out and let me know what you think!  What else do you do to develop independence in your readers?



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