The Vital Role of Classroom Libraries
Research into effective literacy instruction has often noted that the best teachers of reading have an extensive collection of books in their classrooms. In large-scale national studies, researchers found that students in more effective teachers’ classrooms spent a larger percentage of ELA instructional time actually reading. Additionally, exemplary teachers were more likely to differentiate instruction using their book collections, so that all readers had books they could read accurately and fluently, with understanding and motivation.
What are the evidence-based benefits for students who have direct access to a high-quality independent reading library?
- Increases reading achievement, volume, and motivation
- Allows students to assume more agency in their learning
- Reduces summer reading loss
- Prevents diminished reading habits at the secondary level
- Helps students become lifelong readers
Independent reading isn't the frosting on the cake; it's the cake! If students don't read independently, they will never read proficiently.
Carol Jago, Associate Director of California Reading and Literature Project, UCLA and Past President of NCTE