Reading Independently
A Plan for Successful Fifth Grade Reading

are expected to independently read 500 pages of selected text each marking period. This requires the student to to self-select an independent reading book that will be challenging and interesting, but not so far above their ability to read and comprehend. See RULE OF THUMB on how to choose a book for independent reading.

BOOKS READ may be reported by one of two methods:

(1) students may take an Accelerated Reader test online and receive credit for the level of difficulty and how well they do answering questions about the book,

(2) students may report fiction or non-fiction reading to me by having a conference with me about their reading.

AN INDEPENDENT READING record for each student is located in their Response Journal where they are to record their reading selections, author, number of pages, and genre.

IN SUMMARY students should remember these key points:

  • choose a book which interests you from your room, school, home, or city library
  • order books from The Trumpet Club
  • have a book at school and at home to read
  • read at least 400 pages per marking period
  • report your reading through an AR test, a story map, or a conference
  • record your reading in the black book

READING is a crucial link to school success and that is a primary reason we emphasize independent reading in fourth and fifth grade at Lake Hills. Turn off the television, snuggle up with a book, and exercise your reading muscle as a family.

OUR ROOM LIBRARY provides an extensive collective of chapter books. An online listing of those books and authors will soon be available.


The following strategy helps a young reeader self-select an independent reading book that will be challening and interesting, but not above their ability to read and understand.

  • Students select a book from the library media center or classroom collection that interests them by title, subject matter, cover illustration or recommendation.
  • Student opens the book to a page near the middle and begins reading.
  • Starting with the index finger and proceeding with the other fingers, the student puts down a finger each time he or she encounters an unknown word.
  • If all the fingers are used and the student puts down a thumb before the end of the page, the book may be too difficult for independent reading.

A teacher or parent observes that a student independently chooses a book which she or he can use in a sustained reading period. The ultimate goal is for students to internalize the process of evaluating a book's difficulty level for self-selection. More mature readers will not necessarily use their fingers to count hard words, but will scan an inside page for level of difficulty.


We have more than 400 titles in our room library and the number continues to grow. The following is a partial listing of some of our favorite books:

Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe

 Soldier's Heart

 I Have a Dream

Series of Unfortunate Events

Ramona the Brave

 Harry Potter Series

My Louisiana Sky

 Ella Enchanted

Amber Brown Wants Extra Credit 

Ramona Forever 

 The Great Mom Swap


Stone Fox

Sarah, Plain and Tall

The Big Wave

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