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Independent Work

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2016 09:46AM PST

How do the “Setting the Foundation” lessons set students up for independent work?
This group of lessons set the foundation for independent work over the first 4–6 weeks of the year, building students’ independent work habits and stamina for reading, writing, and doing word work. The dual goals of setting the foundation for Independent Work are to establish the structures so that: 1) students have the opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning and behavior and 2) the teacher is able to give full attention to the students in small-group reading instruction.
By the time they are ready to begin small-group instruction, the students know exactly what their choices are and how to work on their own so that teachers are able to instruct small groups with minimal interruptions.    We recommend 6–8 weeks in Kindergarten and 4–6 weeks in grades 1 and 2.  See the “Independent Work Resources” section of the Appendix in Volume 2 of the whole-class Teacher’s Manual for additional information.
Can students read their IDR (Individualized Daily Reading) books from Making Meaning during independent reading practice time in Being a Reader?
Yes, students can read their IDR books during independent reading rotations in Being a Reader.
Can we substitute independent reading in Being a Reader for IDR in Making Meaning?
Use caution in replacing IDR completely with independent reading. An important aspect of IDR are the IDR Conferences during which the teacher confers with individual students about their independent reading. Normally during independent work, teachers are busy working with small groups, making them unavailable to confer with students. If you wish to use independent reading for IDR, consider sacrificing a few small-group slots each week for individual conferences. For more information see the Collaborative Literacy Implementation Guide.

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