De Rego, Tania


Gambrell, L. B. (2011). Seven Rules Of Engagement: What’s Most Important to Know About Motivation to Read. Reading Teacher, 65(3), 172-178. doi:10.1002/TRTR.01024  Retrieved from

Discusses importance of intrinsic reading motivation and student literacy achievement potential.  Suggests we should promote an intrinsic motivation to read in students and offers 7 research-based methods as well as 7 tips to accomplish this in the classroom (or library).

Useful , practical ideas on how motivate students to read.

Series Reading

Taylor, Andrea
Series Reading Program: Creating a Culture of Reading. (2016, February 16). Retrieved from:

Summary: Walter Bracken STEAM Academy Elementary school is a Title 1 magnet school in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have found a way to help students be two and a half years above their grade level on their STAR reading assessments by fifth grade. They have done this by implementing Series Reading in all of the grades, supplementing curriculum. The school deciding to make a change from what they had been doing years ago when they realize that the students were not finishing the books they brought home. Series Reading is meant to help the students develop a connection to the books’ characters, have a better idea of what book to read next, and increase their reading time and comprehension.

To accomplish Series Reading, each staff member at the school chooses their favorite book series. The series are then purchased and stored in the classrooms and staff offices. Six of every book is purchased so that multiple students can read the same book at the same time. The books have colored dots on their spines to indicate what reading level the series is. They also comes with a Series Bookmark that is a bookmark showing the title and covers of the books in that series. The school then uses the Accelerated Reader program to test each student on the book that they read. Next, when a student finishes an entire series they are rewarded with items such as dog tags, a charm to add to a necklace, a rubber duck, or a trophy. The school explains that as the students age it becomes less about the rewards and more about the excitement to read. Students receive a face bookmark in order to check out the books; this is done for the staff to know what books are out and need collected and it helps students know how much reading they have done.

Review: I think this is a terrific idea, although a school would have to have a substantial budget in order to get started. Not all schools would be able to incorporate this for that reason alone.  The series would cost a great deal of money, but so would continually buying incentives and prizes. The fifth graders are encouraged to donate their trinkets back, which would lower some cost, but not eliminate it altogether. Also, the article (and accompanying video) did not explain how the school accommodates students with learning disabilities. Perhaps the biggest issue with this is the lack of mention of a library! It seems that there is no library media center for students to go to.

School Libraries Work! 2016 Edition

Sannwald, Suzanne
Scholastic. (2015). School libraries work!: A compendium of research supporting the effectiveness of school libraries (2016 ed.). Retrieved from 

Summary: The 2016 edition updates the previous 2008 version, and it includes new research and trends such as makerspaces. This is a seminal document that Teacher Librarians should study and become familiar with, because it summarizes well the power of school library programs. It may also be shared with other members of the school community as an advocacy piece to help inform them. Of importance, the report not only shares statements about the importance of staffing and funding school libraries, but it bases these assertions on summarized research. Some key ideas shared include the following:

  • Libraries are transforming into learning commons.
  • School libraries consist of (1) The Place, (2) The Professional, and (3) The Program.
  • Successful school libraries contribute to ELA achievement, reading performance, information literacy, 21st century skill building, and overall student success.
  • Successful school libraries require commitment from district and school administration.

Evaluation: I had a difficult time picking a category for this resource since it spans a lot of topics, but I ended up picking “CO” Collaboration since I think it is a strong document supporting the value of collaboration with school libraries. This is a powerful reference resource for all Teacher Librarians!

Creating Lifelong Readers

Amy Jessica McMillan

Gardiner, S. (2005). Chapter 1: Creating lifelong readers.  In Building student literacy through sustained silent reading. Retrieved from

In the first chapter from his book Building Student Literacy Through Sustained Silent Reading, author Steve Gardiner outlines the various forms of sustained silent reading (SSR) as they currently exist in schools. Variations of SSR include free voluntary reading (FVR), drop everything and read (DEAR), love to read (LTR), independent reading time (IRT), and many others. Gardiner gives a brief history of the origins of SSR and discusses why its popularity has ebbed and flowed over the past few decades. Next, Gardiner outlines some research in support of SSR, most importantly from Steve Krashen and his 1993 book The Power of Reading. In addition, Gardiner cites Caught in the Middle author and educator Nancy Atwell as a strong proponent of SSR, and he details Atwell’s suggestions for what to do and what not to do when running a reading workshop. Finally, Gardiner makes the case for encouraging independent reading because when students build reading stamina and learn to enjoy reading, it becomes a “flow activity”and this is what is necessary to build lifelong readers.

As a classroom English teacher for the past fifteen years I have personally witnessed how the popularity of independent reading as receded over the past decade. In 2000 I taught at a school which mandated twenty-five minutes of independent reading time daily. Fast forward to 2008 and new district administrators actively discouraged independent reading at school, citing “lack of research.” The perceived lack of research for independent reading comes from the National Reading Panel Report (2000) in which report authors claim there isn’t significant evidence to support independent reading as a strategy to improve overall student reading proficiency. However, I am happy to say that this trend seems to be reversing itself. As Gardiner states in the first chapter of his book, there is research supporting independent reading programs. No one is advocating that independent reading is the only type of instruction that should happen in schools. In fact, classroom teachers still have a curriculum to teach. Gardiner is simply arguing that a robust independent reading program is necessary for students to practice the skill, to gain new vocabulary, and to become avid and engaged lifetime readers. I agree with Stephen Krashen, as quoted in Gardiner’s article: “[Independent reading] will not, by itself, produce the highest levels of competence; rather, it provides a foundation so that higher levels of proficiency may be reached. When FVR [free voluntary reading] is missing, these advanced levels are extremely difficult to attain” (“What Researchers Say” section).