Maddie Witter, a seasoned KIPP educator and literacy coach shares incredible online tools for setting up independent reading in your classroom including a running record podcast and a Fry graph for estimating readability of a text.
In her book (published here in its entirety online!), Calkins lays out all of the basics of conducting a readers workshop in Grades 3-5. This is a great read if you are thinking about adopting or helping your school adopt a model that allows students to read independently and builds their compehension and fluency
This site also allows you to enter book titles and identify their levels according to Fountas and Pinnell (reading experts!). It does require a subscription - this site allows you to demo what the subscription will provide.
Led by Lucy Calkins (another readers workshop guru!), Teachers College has created FREE reading mini-units of study (that utilize the readers workshop model) and a great series of videos to introduce how to use them! The videos give a fast-paced overview of the sequence of units for your grade level, answers to common questions, and the logistics of how to get started with the first unit.
This site allows you to enter any book title and get a lexile number, which is a degree of reading difficulty. This can allow you to level your classroom library (you can create colors or letters that match up with each lexile range) so that students can browse the library and select a book that they're interested in, that is also on their reading level.
Assessing reading comprehension and "time on task" can be difficult since so much of reading happens in a student's head.These simple guides help students stay focused during independent reading, enable them to practice key strategies taught, and make it easier for teachers to assess the progress they're making. The same template is usable for every student regardless of what book they are reading and what level it is on. You can also have the students use post-its and reuse these sheets.
The only way for students, especially those who have already fallen behind, to get better at reading is to spend a lot of time reading. This book is a must read for any teacher who wants to set up independent reading in the classroom in a way that really works. Fauntus and Pinnell guide you through how to set up the resources and structures to get kids reading in a meaningful way. They provide so many useful templates and how-tos.
In this five minute video clip, Cris Tovani, author of I Read It, But I don't Get It, shares WHY students need to spend actual time reading during class time in order to get better at reading. This is a motivating clip to come back to as you try to get independent reading set up for your students. It also provides a well-articulated rationale for the model to share with school leadership, parents and even students.