Independent reading leads to an increased volume of reading. The more one reads, the better one reads. The more one reads, the more knowledge of words and language one acquires. The more one reads, the more fluent one becomes as a reader. The more one reads, the easier it becomes to sustain the mental effort necessary to comprehend complex texts. The more one reads, the more one learns about the people and happenings of our world. This increased volume of reading is essential (Allington, 2014).
As English language arts teachers, we …
- provide protected opportunities within our classrooms that allow students to increase their volume of reading through independent reading of self-selected texts.
- recognize the importance of access to texts at a wide variety of reading levels, about a plethora of topics and interests, that offer multiple perspectives in classroom libraries and school libraries.
- support readers through small-group and 1:1 conferences.
- book-match to ensure students have accessible, high-interest texts.
- build enthusiasm for reading.
- cultivate a community of readers through modeling of independent reading and conversations about reading.
- “build intercultural understanding” through literature (Short, 2009, p. 2).