Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Engaging Readers with Independent Reading

Today I got to present with the Adams County Teaching and Learning Conference! It was exciting to get together with fellow teachers for a day.

I presented on the topic of independent reading. Structured time for students to read during class has been an important piece of my instruction ever since I started teaching (waaay back in 1997!) I've never presented about it before, however. Why not? I never feel totally comfortable with how I implement independent reading. Each year I make small changes as I consider whether my classroom was too structured or not structured enough or whether I didn't hold students accountable or whether I sucked the joy out of reading.

This level of existential discomfort, however, is vital to teaching reading. I think that the day I decide that everything is "just right" will be the day that I am done as a classroom teacher! I need to learn how to embrace that uncomfortable feeling and keep making small changes as I adjust to each new group of students.

Speaking of an uncomfortable feeling...I didn't have my Mac adapter to plug into the Promethean board, so I used the handy PC computer that was already connected and just signed into my Chrome account. No problem, right? Except that the computer RESTARTED twenty minutes into my presentation and took the entire session time to look for updates and finish. Ugh! Luckily I could talk forever about books and reading, but I don't think the participants were impressed.

Here is a link to the presentation, with some photos removed:

Here is a list of my favorite classroom books for independent reading!

Anyone else have a presentation fail to share?

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