Considering Content and Comprehension when Choosing Independent Reading

Two of the most important things to consider when choosing a book for a student's independent reading is content and comprehension. To help you out, I found some great questions on Twitter to ask yourself before choosing a book for a student. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

Have you ever struggled to find the “just right” independent reading book for a student? This post from Alex Corbitt on Twitter should help. The post listed questions teachers can ask themselves before recommending or helping a student choose an independent reading book. The questions will help you consider things you might not have thought about before when choosing a book for a student in the past, such as how familiar are they with the content of the book or how motivated are they to read it. You can see the list of questions below.

content and comprehension

Most of these questions consider two different areas: content and comprehension. Every book has two difficulty levels: one for comprehension and one for content. Basically, how difficult are the words and how complex is the plot/character/setting, and other aspects of the book to comprehend. Every student has different levels they can accept for both. Some students can handle difficult content if the words are simple or they are already familiar with the book's content. Others can tackle books with more complex words if the content is easy to remember. Keeping these questions nearby will remind you that choosing the right book for student independent reading is more complex than it might initially look.

What other questions could you ask? What other major areas could you consider for independent student reading?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to editor@simplek12.com.