Creating an Independent Reading Program with Book Punch

As a proscribed activity that is separate from the regular school day curriculum, independent reading programs tend to focus on choosing the right book at the right level. However, little attention is given to helping students understand what they are reading.

Book Punch addresses this issue by modeling the processes strong readers use to comprehend, analyze, and synthesize texts, as well as providing personal in-depth support before, during, and after reading.

Book Punch guides students through the process of thinking and writing about books commonly read in schools today. Built-in hints and tips tutor students step-by-step as they work. Lesson plan aids help teachers develop a practical framework for using each book with their students.

Try these tips when using Book Punch as part of an independent reading program.

Before reading

Create a library of Book Punch books in your classroom.

Help students choose a Book Punch book at a reading level that is both comfortable and challenging.

Help students choose a Book Punch book that will interest them.

Encourage students to discuss the books they have read and to describe the subject.

Tell students that they will get clues to find the location of key facts.

Give students a printout of the assigned book’s online Evidence and Inference writing topics.

Tell students they will get help needed to think about and write responses to the Evidence and Inference questions.

Before students begin reading the book, help students make independent personal connections to it by writing on one of the online Text-to-Self topics.

Show students through the PDF walkthrough to introduce them to Book Punch's online writing prompts.

Use the offline vocabulary worksheets to teach students important words in the book.

During reading

Suggest that when students find a fact in the book that answers an online Evidence and Inference question, they note the page number next to the question.

Help students create mental images of the reading material by using offline worksheets for character exploration.

Have students use the online Evidence and Inference writing prompts when you feel they have enough information to answer the questions.

When students use the online Evidence and Inference writing prompts encourage them to use the built-in tips and learning scaffolds.

Use the discussion topics cited in the teaching guides to foster classroom discussions.

Have students write down their own questions.

After reading

Ask students to finish their online Evidence and Inference topics.

Have students polish their work by going through the online proofreading and grammar mini-lessons.

Have students use the online Reading Check to determine that they haven’t forgotten or mixed up information.

Encourage students to share their written work and opinions about the book.

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