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Independent Reading  

Richard Allington and many other researchers tell us the best way to improve one's reading is to read more...read a lot...read what you love.  The teachers at Bumpus believe in this philosophy, and they support independent reading.  We try to instill a love of reading in each student.  Recommendations for improving reading and allowing for independent are listed below:

  • Have the students select the kind of reading material they like to read.  Don't assign them something they don't choose for independent reading.  This can include magazines, books - both fiction and nonfiction, comics and graphic novels, websites, and whatever else piques their interest.  
  • Allington's research says for a child to become engaged in reading, he/she must read a minimum of 20 minutes uninterrupted.  This is easy if they like what they have to read.  However, it can be a struggle if they are tired, have something they do not like to read, or are worried about completing homework.  We recommend at least 30 minutes of independent reading a night.  
    • This can be worked in at school during ETA, after tests, on the bus home, etc.  We ask each student to carry around an independent reading book, so they have it with them whenever there is down-time.  
    • Keep books in your car so they can read them or look at them as you drive to wherever you need to go.  Set aside a specific time each night to read, and have ready access to books of their choosing.   
  • Make reading a family affair.  Ask about what your kids are reading, and try to read with them.  Sometimes, this enhances a desire to read because there is fruitful dialogue between parent and child.
  • Our students can go to our library daily, so encourage them to check out books.  They can also use the school reading app, Destiny, to check out what is available.