Teaching Reading

Independent verse Dependent Readers

In Kylene Beers When Kids Can’t Read, we learn the differences between an independent reader and a dependent reader. An independent reader is someone who will continue reading and use different strategies when a text starts to get tough. A dependent reader will just stop reading or seek help from a teacher in order to get through the text. Keeping this in mind, we see that it is ideal for every reader to be an independent reader.  Since this is the case, Beers discusses methods of transforming a dependent reader into an independent reader. The major problem with dependent readers is that they are lacking confidence in their reading abilities. These methods are based around helping a dependent reader gain confidence in different areas.

The first way to do this is through gaining cognitive confidence. If a reader does not have cognitive confidence, they could struggle with “comprehension, vocabulary, word recognition, or fluency and automaticity.” By helping students gain cognitive confidence, they are more likely to comprehend what they are reading and read more fluently.

Image from Andy Roberts

The second method is to improve social and emotional confidence. This can be caused because a student has a negative experience with reading and are afraid to have another one. This causes the student to have a negative attitude towards reading. If a students confidence is improved in this area, the student is more likely to change their attitude, become part of a community of readers, and start to enjoy reading.

The third method is to improve text confidence. If a student is lacking text confidence, than they are more likely to give up on a text that it hard or just looks to hard. A popular example that I am sure we have all experienced is turning down a book because it is just to big. A student might lack text confidence because they are not sure what genre or author interests them. This could be hard for student because by expanding their horizons, they will most likely come upon a book they dislike but this is helping them figure out what books they like and what books to stay away from. By helping a student gain confidence in this area, they are more likely to work through a reading that is difficult as well as find genres and authors that they enjoy.

By helping students gain confidence in all of these areas, they can transform into an independent reader. This is very important because it will help them throughout school as well as work to make them lifelong readers. Overall, we can see that confidence is something that can alter a readers complete outlook on reading. It is important as a teacher to keep negative experiences away as much as possible in order to avoid a student developing negative attitudes. Teachers can also help by having a variety of texts available to the students to test out. This way they can learn what meets their interests and what does not.


Beers, K. (2003). When kids cant read, what teachers can do: A guide for teachers, 6-12. Choice Reviews Online,40(11). doi:10.5860/choice.40-6539

Teaching Reading

Book Club Information

As of right now, I am a junior in college and we recently finished some group projects. For ours, we went chose to create a banned book club. Based on this, I wanted to share the benefits of book clubs as well as new and technical ways to join or create a book club!

When being a part of a book club, usually a group of people get together to discuss a book they assigned as a group. Depending on how big the club is, meetings can be long or short. In our project, we met two days out of the week because we had to get our project done before the deadline. In another book club I am in, we only meet once a month. Usually with meeting once a month, we finish the book within that month. One major benefit of a book club is that it allows for multiple opinions to be shared about a book. It can also help readers see viewpoints of the book that they might not have thought about. It allows for readers to analyze a book in a way that does not feel like they are analyzing. Book clubs can also help readers clarify things they might not have understood when they were reading.

As I said before, book clubs are when a group of people get together to discuss a book. When people usually think about this, they probably think about people sitting in comfy chairs in a quiet room just talking. Something that has been growing in popularity is online book clubs. There are numerous websites online that offer membership into online book clubs but the most popular one that I know of it Goodreads. On Goodreads, most of the community page is filled with thousands of book clubs that are just based on genres, authors, where the members live like states, and so many more. It is almost guaranteed that a reader can find a book club they can be an active member of.

With the online book clubs, meetings are not necessarily set but the members are allowed to start writing comments once the month starts. This is done in a forums tab on the book clubs webpage. Other members are allowed to comment back and forth with each other but the book club usually has set rules about what can and can not be said in these comments. These are usually things like no discrimination and no foul language. This is great because it allows people from around the world to connect with each other through a website. This allows for a variety of readers thus providing a variety of unique opinions. I personally prefer online book clubs because I like being able to work at my own pace and not be set to have to go to a meeting.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.29.49 PMHere is an example of what online book clubs on Goodreads.

Overall, I hope that by reading this post you see how book clubs can be helpful for readers and nonreaders. Also, if you did not know about online book clubs, I hope I’ve influenced you to at least check them out and hopefully join one!