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Independent Reading. Elaine Gale, Hunter College & Susan Easterbrooks, Georgia State University. News Flash. Independent Reading = Higher Reading Scores. Why Read?. The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it;

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Independent Reading

Elaine Gale, Hunter College & Susan Easterbrooks, Georgia State University

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News Flash

Independent Reading = Higher Reading Scores

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Why Read?

The more you read, the better you get at it;

the better you get at it, the more you like it;

and the more you like it, the more you do it.

And the more you read, the more you know;

and the more you know, the smarter you grow.

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What is Independent Reading?






Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading

Daily Interrupted Reading Time

Drop Everything And Read

Sustained Silent Reading

Free Voluntary Reading

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Why Independent Reading?


of SSR students did as well or better on tests of reading

than students having no SSR time.

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IR Research: General Education

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Who Has the Highest Reading Skill Scores?

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement report:

children who were read to by their teachers

children who read the most pages for pleasure daily

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Reading and LearningMiddle School Children

How many words can one read a year?

1 million words

How many words can one learn a year without direct vocabulary instruction?

1 thousand words

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IR Research: DHH Education

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Model Silent Sustained Reading

  • Time to read books of their own choice

  • Discard books

  • Time to find other books

  • Broad reading goals

  • Self reading record

  • Observe, comment and enjoy reading stories

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8 Important Factors

  • Access

  • Appeal

  • Conducive environment

  • Encouragement

  • Staff Training

  • Non-Accountability

  • Follow-up Activities

  • Distributed Time to Read

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What Does Daily Reading Mean for DHH Students?

Learn to write and spell better

Gain English language skills

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The How To Do List

  • Assessing Needs

  • Choosing Appropriate, Leveled Materials

  • Finding Time and Space

  • Encouraging Self-monitoring

  • Assessing Outcomes

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Assessing Needs

  • Independent Reading Level

  • Informal Reading Inventory (IRI)

    • Graded word list

    • Graded passages

    • Summaries and analyses

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Independent Reading Level

The authorsat in his chair and stared at the clock. The pendulum swung back and forth as the time passed by. He was desperate to think of new ideas for his story, but his mind was a blank. This had never happened to him before, as stories had always flowed easily from his mind, usually so fast that he did not have the time to write them down before they disappeared from consciousness and new ideas took their place. But now he was stuck for inspiration, and his book deadline was approaching with a speed that truly frightened him.

1 unknown word in 100

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Graded Word Lists

List C 5414SightAnalysis

(Grade 4)

Thunder _______ _______

Friendship _______ _______

Crickets _______ _______

Yesterday _______ _______




17. Medicine _______ _______

18. Ashamed _______ _______

19. Saddle _______ _______

20. Anxious _______ _______

Number Correct _______ _______

Total _______

Scoring Guide for Graded Word Lists

Independent Instructional Frustration

20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 or less

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Older airplanes were moved through the air by the use of propellers. Now, most planes are driven by large jet engines. Some fly faster than sound. The first thing you may notice about a plane is the wings that stick out on either side of its long body. Today jet planes land and take off from major airports every few seconds. People can travel around the word in only a few hours. It often takes travelers longer to retrieve their luggage than to fly to their destination. Planes have been much improved since the Wright brothers first flew in 1903.

What is this passage about? (airplanes; the development of planes through the years)

What kind of engines do most airplanes have today? (jet engines)

How were older planes moved through the air? (propellers)

In what year did the Wright Brothers fly? (1903)

How do you think the Wright Brothers felt after the first flight? Why? (any logical response)

Do you think jet airplanes have changed our lives for the better? Why? (any logical response)

Graded Passages

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Choosing Appropriate, Leveled Materials

  • Accelerated Readers

  • Leveled Readers

  • Developmental Reader systems from different publishing companies

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Accelerated Readers

  • 1) Student reads book

  • 2) Student takes a quiz

  • 3) You get information

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Leveled Readers

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Reader Systems

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Click video

Selectbook video

The following URL links to a full quality version video clip: selectbook

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Click Video

Reading level video

The following URL links to a full quality version video clip: reading level

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Finding Time & Space

  • 10-20 minutes a day

  • Quiet informal setting can go a long way

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Building Classroom Library

  • Borrow from the school library

  • Involve parent/teacher association

  • Deaf Community

  • Local Service Organizations

  • Book Fair

  • Used Bookstores

  • Exchange Books

  • Budget Priorities

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Encouraging Self-Monitoring

  • Self-Evaluation Questions

  • Self-Evaluation of Reading Form

  • Self-Monitoring Checklist

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Self-Evaluation Questions

  • How do you feel you are doing in reading/writing

  • What are your strengths in reading/writing?

  • What do you enjoy the most about reading/writing

  • What do you feel you need to do to improve your reading/writing?

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Self-Evaluation Form

Name ___________________ Date________

Book Read _________________________________

Mark the scale below:

I feel that I thoroughly understood this book

I feel that I don’t understood this book

Why I marked this scale as I did _________________



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Self-Monitoring Checklist



* preview the text

* predict


* stop and think

* change predictions


* think back about my predictions?

* summarize in my head?

To improve my reading, I need to: _______________________


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Assessing Outcomes

  • Retelling conference with teacher

  • Read section to friend

  • Book talk

  • Writing

  • Art project

  • Drama

  • Your idea

  • Nothing…just enjoy!

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Student Book Response Choices

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Click Video

Booktalk video

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How Many Times Do You Need To Meet a Word Before You Comprehend It?


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IR Materials

  • Preschool

  • Elementary

  • Middle and High School

  • Older Struggling Reader

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Preschool Materials




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More Preschool Materials

Shared Reading Project

ASL/English Books


Language Experience Activity

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Elementary: Other





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Middle and High School Materials

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Older Struggling Readers Materials



Wide range of opportunities to read



Bumper Stickers


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Older Struggling Readers: Intervention

Cooperative Learning Groups

Read Aloud

Based on Need

Strategic Reading

Discussion and Collaborative Talk

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Click Video

Trelease video

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Accessible Books

Books on Video

Books on Disk

Big Books

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Pre-Service Teacher Assignment

  • You will choose aliteracy skill that you have identified your student needs to practice.

  • Develop a independent reading assessment rubric related to this objective and fill it out on the student.

  • Identify books for student to read independently that will enhance this skill.

  • Provide independent reading times over the period of one month with materials that focus on the student’s identified need.

  • At the end of the month, fill out the assessment rubric to identify if progress has been made on the objective.

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Electronic Resources

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Paper Resources

Krashen, S. D. (2004). The Power of Reading: Insights from the research. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Pilgreen, J. L. (2000). The SSR Handbook: How to organize and manage a sustained silent reading program. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Schleper, D. R. SSR? DEAR? USSR? Or DIRT?

No Matter What You Call It, Independent Reading Is for

Everyone.Odyssey, (Fall 2002), 26-28.

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Independent Reading = Higher Reading Scores