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Trusting Readers

Powerful Practices for Independent Reading

Dive into Trusting Readers

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Your book was like coming home. It is a book I will be handing to teachers over and over.”

Jane Burke
k-5 Literacy Learning Coach
New Brunswick

Independent reading is the right of every student. It is an indispensable foundation for solid reading instruction yet, is too often viewed as a luxury. Overly prescriptive, culturally irrelevant curriculum does not provide spaces for students to develop a sense of agency as readers or for teachers to make decisions that reflect the needs of the students in front of them. When teachers trust themselves and trust their students to create reading experiences that matter, they positively impact student growth.

Trusting Readers puts the independence back into independent reading—and bolsters that independence with collaboration. Jen and Hannah offer a clear definition of independent reading. Their vision of conferring supports teachers as they support young readers. They help teachers craft reading experiences for students that are centered around their engagement, instructional needs, and identities as readers.

Trusting Readers is an essential and accessible guide that provides teachers with the inspiration, information, and tools needed to grow enthusiastic independent readers. 

Jen and Hannah outline practical steps for teachers to implement independent reading time or to enrich their current practice with multiple entry points whether you’ve been teaching one year or twenty. In addition, they provide a model for reading conferences that support tailored instructional choices and keep students at the center.

In Part 1 of Trusting Readers, Jen and Hannah define independent reading as based on the principles of time, choice, talk, and teacher support. Each chapter keeps student independence and reading identity development at the forefront, while leading teachers through the process of setting up classroom routines that safeguard time and space for independent reading in any environment. Part 2 focuses on conferring during independent reading using The Cycle of Conferring, a framework that teachers can use to help students set meaningful reading goals that not only build their skills, but also support their growth into joyful, purposeful, engaged readers.

Dig into Trusting Readers and consider new possibilities for vibrant independent reading to thrive in your classroom in visible and invisible ways. What is the best that could happen when you trust yourself, your students, and the power of independent reading?

Our Resources

Access a sample chapter of Trusting Readers here.

Access companion resources to Trusting Readers here.

Listen to our podcast hosted by Carl Anderson here.