15 Resources on Creating Independent Readers


Helping students become strong, independent readers is an ongoing, time-consuming, and wholly necessary process. Dive into these ASCD myTeachSource® resources for ideas, lesson plans, and instructional activities to create lifelong readers and learners with the critical thinking skills to understand and overcome any challenge.

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Strong Readers All (Educational Leadership)

Authors in this issue of Educational Leadership share stories of how they successfully helped all learners improve their reading skills—by using nontraditional approaches at every grade level.

Get Organized Around Assets (Educational Leadership)

Educators often perceive English language learners through a lens of deficits, but we could serve these learners better, especially as readers, if we view them through a lens focused on assets. Larry Ferlazzo relates the process of community organizing—helping people recognize their strengths and learn new skills to improve their lives—to helping English language learners find their strengths as readers.

Breaking the Cycle of “Baby Stuff” (ASCD Express)

Struggling older readers often feel frustrated by the types of texts considered appropriate for their reading level. Instead of forcing these students to submit to low-level texts, try these five practices for restoring their interest, engagement, and identification.

Becoming the Book (ASCD Express)

A high school English teacher gets students to relish reading by engaging their imaginations and inviting them to step into the world of Lord of the Flies.

Harnessing the Power of Parents to Reach Reluctant Readers (ASCD Express)

Imagine a scenario where reading is the hot topic of discussion throughout an entire school, district, or state. Learn how the One District, One Book program brings together the community, parents, elementary students, and books in a shared reading experience that can motivate even the most reluctant reader.

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Adolescent Literacy: More Than Remediation (Educational Leadership)

To be successful learners, adolescent readers must master complex texts, understand the diverse literacy demands of the different content areas, and navigate digital reading.

Opening the Literature Window (Educational Leadership)

Great literature gives students a window to other places and times, but it often requires students to step outside their comfort zones and take on challenges they wouldn’t usually attempt. Carol Jago encourages teachers to require students to read more difficult texts and offers suggestions for supporting students as they tackle complex material.

Making Textbook Reading Meaningful (Educational Leadership)

When students enter middle school, they are confronted with the necessity of learning from complex content-area textbooks. Many students find these texts boring, and they may lack the higher-order reading comprehension skills they need to tackle complex text. Yet the ability to read informational text is essential to success in middle school and beyond.

How We Really Comprehend Nonfiction (Educational Leadership)

The clear message in the Common Core literacy standards is that students need to do less narrative reading and more informational reading. But narrative, Thomas Newkirk contends, is the deep structure of all good writing. Teachers need to show students how narrative works in their reading, be it fiction or nonfiction.

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On Developing Readers: Readings from Educational Leadership (EL Essentials)

This collection of articles pulls together some of the best articles on the teaching of reading that Educational Leadership has published in the past few years from more than a dozen of the most respected experts in the field. On Developing Readers offers strategies for teaching informational texts as well as fiction. Most important, it addresses how to inspire a love of reading

Research-Based Methods of Reading Instruction, Grades K–3 (Book)

Get your elementary school reading program on the right track using research-based teaching strategies from this helpful guide. Learn about the five essential elements of reading, why you should teach them, and how.

Total Literacy Techniques: Tools to Help Students Analyze Literature and Informational Texts (Book)

This book provides 3rd through 12th grade teachers with more than 50 tools and techniques for helping their students read independently and critically.

Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success (Book)

Discover how to capitalize on the crucial connection between literacy and leadership and how teachers and principals can lead the way to more effective literacy instruction for all K–12 students, including second-language and struggling learners. Drawing on her experience as a mentor teacher, reading specialist, instructional coach, and staff developer, author Regie Routman offers time-tested advice on how to develop a schoolwide learning culture that leads to more effective reading and writing across the curriculum.

Literacy Unleashed: Fostering Excellent Reading Instruction Through Classroom Visits (Book)

Two literacy and leadership experts introduce their Literacy Classroom Visit Model to help administrators evaluate and improve literacy instruction in their school or district.

Complex Text Decoded: How to Design Lessons and Use Strategies That Target Authentic Texts (Book)

Kathy T. Glass presents strategies, activities, and assessments that target students’ ability to comprehend complex text—both traditional written text and multimedia—in grades 5–10.