reThink ELA Professional Development

Spark a Reading Transformation in Your Classroom with Structured Independent Reading Activities

This structured independent reading activities unit is the perfect way to get your students embarking on reading journeys. With a variety of engaging activities and resources, your students will be so excited to read that they won't want to put the books down.

Students who don't read are at a disadvantage in school and in life

Students today face a different world. Ask them, and many will admit they're not big fans of traditional reading. Why? Well, the answers are at their fingertips - through YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms. Plus, with jam-packed schedules filled with work and extracurriculars, finding the time to dive into a good book often takes a back seat. And let's be honest, when school focuses so much on decoding and comprehension, it can overshadow the sheer joy of reading for pleasure.

So, how do we reignite that love for books? Help them discover the joy of reading together!

Teachers are under more stress than ever

Here's the thing: when reading is fun, students naturally want to do more of it. And guess what? The more they read, the better they become. It's a win-win! However, when they've faced challenges with reading – maybe even as early as third grade, being held back behind their friends – they might dodge books altogether. This can lead to a cycle where they miss out on the joys of reading and even develop anxiety around it. We definitely don’t want that, right? Let's break that cycle together and reignite their passion for books! 

How Do You Reignite the Joy of Reading in a Standards-Based World?

Being English teachers, we truly get it. Our students deserve those golden moments where they can just read for the sheer joy of it. But, with all the standards, high-stakes tests, and increasing classroom demands, it's tough to squeeze in those precious reading moments. And let’s not forget, we're often expected to have regular graded assignments. On top of that, we want to give our students timely feedback and chances to express themselves about their readings. It feels like a race against the clock, doesn’t it? We're in this together, striving to find that balance for our students. 

Enliven Your Students' Love of Reading with Reading TRIIPS Independent Reading Projects

Over a decade of teaching middle and high school English, I've crafted a unique independent reading curriculum. Think about how much we all love a good adventure – be it wandering through a field nearby or scrolling through captivating IG photos from distant lands. I've channeled that universal love for travel into our reading journey using the acronym TRIIPS. It’s all about encouraging students to embark on literary adventures, dive deep into the stories they choose, and then reflect and share their experiences. Just like a traveler documenting their escapades, our students can journey through books and bring back tales to share. Ready to set sail on this literary adventure? 

Our Product Main Benefits

Our structured independent reading activities provide independent choice within a framework of reading groups to help scaffold student learning.

Increased motivation to read

When students are given the choice of what to read, they are more likely to be motivated to read. This is because they are more likely to be interested in the books they choose, and they are more likely to find them enjoyable.

Improved reading comprehension

When students read books that they are interested in, they are more likely to pay attention to the text and to understand what they are reading. This is because they'll want to learn more about the characters and the plot.

Broadened knowledge base

When students read a variety of books, they are exposed to a variety of topics and ideas. This can help them to broaden their knowledge base and to become more well-rounded individuals.

Students can share their thoughts and ideas with others

When students work in groups, they have the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas about the books they are reading. This can help them to better understand the books and to develop their own critical thinking skills.

Students can develop social skills

When students work in groups, they have to learn to collaborate and to communicate effectively. This can help them to develop important social skills that will be valuable in college and in the workplace.

Reduced stress levels

Reading can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity. This can help students to reduce stress levels and to improve their overall mental health, particularly when students have choice in both what and how they read.

What You Get

Reading TRIIPS Teacher's Guide

Teacher Guide

This guide includes the purpose and rationale for the year-long reading journey, instructions for setting up the reader's notebooks, and ideas for projects students can engage in as they discover who they are as readers.

Reading TRIIPS Student Guide

Student Guide

Print or upload this guide to Google Classroom or another closed course management system for access by students in your class.

Reading Autobiography Instructions

Reading Autobiography Lesson

Not only will you earn about who your students are as readers (knowing your students is one of the most important elements of accomplished teaching, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards), they will need to spend time analyzing their own experiences as readers and how it is they have arrived where they are, whether they are avid readers or reading avoiders. Download this lesson below.

Reading TRIIPS Mini-Lessons

Mini-Lessons Slideshow

Introduce your students to each element of the reading TRIIPS on which they will embarks this year, including Tie-ins (connections), Reactions, Inferences, Inquiries (Questions), Predictions, and Summaries. Download the slideshow as a PowerPoint file, but you can upload it to Google Drive.

Reader Survey

Student Reader Surveys

The best way to encourage students to read books or articles is to help them find reading that they are interested in. You can best do that by simply asking the students. Of course, if you're like most secondary teachers and have dozens of students, it might take you weeks to talk to each one. With this Google Forms survey, you can ask all of them and them pour through their answers and send them recommendations on your planning period, at home, or anywhere!

Reading TRIIPS Independent Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Signup

Some students love a challenge! (Yes, I know that others aren't such fans…) So we've incorporated a reading challenge in which students are facing off against themselves and their reading pasts. Encourage your students to read more than they did last year, or to read a wider range of genres. Any growth your students experience is a win! (Replace the academic standards section with the relevant standards from your state or school.)

Reading TRIIPS Notebooks

Reader's Notebook Graphic Organizers

Tracking reading isn't about you grading the numbers–it's about students evaluating their own reading habits. Did they read this week? What did they read? Did they abandon a book? Is there a pattern that they see in what they choose to read and what they abandon? Students setup this tracking system and use it throughout the year to watch their growth as readers.

Structured Reading Response Graphic Organizer

Structured Reading Response Graphic Organizers

What is reading without conversations? Students, after all, are very social. With this graphic organizer, students are not only encouraged to choose or create a question to answer about their reading, but also to quote text, cite their source, and write commentary that analyses what they have read. Students are also encouraged to respond to each other!

Reader's Notebook Rubric

Reader's Notebook Rubric

Once a month, or on your schedule, students evaluate their progress in their reader's notebooks. Have they maintained their current reading list? Do they have a list of books they want to read in the future? Have they finished reading any books? Students fill out the rubric and you take a quick peek at their notebooks to verify. No grading at home!

Creative Alternatives To Your Reader’s Notebook

Creative Alternatives to Your Reader's Notebook or Culminating Projects

Encourage your students to share their reading with each other and a wider audience. Students can choose from projects such as a printed book advertisement to an online book trailer they upload to YouTube. Push them to use their imaginations as they persuade each other to read! Can be used for students who struggle with the notebook or as culminating project options for all students.

Are you ready for a completely done-for-you unit that engage your students in structured independent reading projects?

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