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#ILAchat: The Power and the Promise of Independent Reading

By Wesley Ford
 | Feb 12, 2019

Promo_PowerPromiseIR_profile_300Last month, following in the footsteps of our December literacy brief “The Power and Promise of Read-Alouds and Independent Reading,” our January #ILAchat focused on best practices regarding reading aloud to students, and we examined the practice of reading aloud through the lens of social justice and equity.

This month, we turn our attention to the power and promise of independent reading. With greater reading volume comes improved comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary as well as more expansive background knowledge around various topics. Giving students time to select their own books, read their selection, and discuss their reading with peers has the potential to create passionate, lifelong readers.

We often hear that educators need to defend setting aside time during the school day to allow students to read on their own. We hope that our next #ILAchat, which will take place on Thursday, February 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET., will give educators the knowledge they need not only to set up quality independent reading time as part of their curriculum but also to justify providing this time to students.

In the next chat we will continue to use the lens of social justice and equity as we examine classroom best practices around incorporating independent reading.

The ILA PD committee pulled together a stellar lineup of guest experts to guide this important conversation, including:

Fran McVeigh is an adjunct graduate instructor and assistant academic coordinator at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.  She has taught K–12 special education and general education and has been an elementary principal, district curriculum coordinator, and professional development coordinator.  McVeigh also worked with multiple school districts as a literacy coach and consultant to provide research-based strategies designed to improve literacy skills for PK–12 students, teachers, and families. 

Julia Torres is a veteran language arts teacher and librarian in Denver, Colorado. Torres serves teachers around the United States by facilitating teacher development workshops rooted in the areas of culturally responsive teaching, anti-racist educational practices, equity and access in librarianship, and education as a practice of liberation. She facilitates reading and writing workshops with students locally and around the U.S., with the goal of empowering them to use literacy to fuel resistance and positive social transformation.

Julie Jee has been an English teacher at Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, New York, since 2001. Jee joined the Hudson Valley Writing Project as a teaching fellow in 2003 and became a member of its tech team in 2007. Over the past 12 years, she has presented her work with educational technology and Genius Hour as well as facilitating discussions about race, racism, and equity at numerous conferences.

Join us Thursday, February 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET as we #ILAchat about the power and promise and best practices of independent reading.

See you there!


Leave a comment
  1. Alina | Feb 26, 2019
    Hi, Ken. You can join an #ILAchat by following us on Twitter (twitter.com/ilatoday) and logging on at the time of the chat. They take place the second Thursday of each month at 8:00 p.m. ET. Make sure to use the #ILAchat hashtag to ensure your posts are seen by other participants. Hope you can join the next one! 
  2. Ken | Feb 14, 2019
    How do I join the chat??

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