One sensible teaching idea that helps readers improve
The most sensible idea for helping readers improve is also the most powerful.
Acclaimed researcher Richard Allington has shown that, like anything else that requires practice, kids become better readers by reading. He recommends, therefore, that whole-class texts be taught only 20–30 percent of the time, and that as much time as possible be given over to independent reading.
Here’s how award-winning New Hampshire teacher Penny Kittle balances the reading time in her classroom in alignment with Allington’s research:
50% for independent reading
Books chosen by students with increasing challenge and complexity across the year
25% for reading mentor texts
Annotating short texts that reveal genre characteristics and the writer’s craft in support of both reading and writing goals
25% for whole-class or book-club novel study
Based on curricular needs and with careful differentiation to support each reader’s needs.
For more on how Penny increases reading opportunities, read Book Love.
Heinemann is dedicated to teachers. Learn more here.