English 9 Survey Independent Reading Project, 2006-2007


In today’s world, people rely on reading—books, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, the Internet, email—as a means of gathering information.  Colleges and universities rely on students’ ability to find information in periodicals and books.  Employers rely on employees’ initiative to stay informed through reading in their field.  This independent reading project aims to increase students’ reading skills to meet the reading challenges of an “information superhighway” world through three major goals:


1.        To improve reading skills through increased student reading:  Studies show that students who read on a regular basis have higher reading comprehension, larger vocabulary, and better writing skills.

·      During the school year, students will read 20 minutes five days a week outside English class.

·      Students will complete a minimum of four books during the school year from the prescribed reading lists.


2.        To improve study and writing skills:

·      Along with reading, students will reflect on and record reading progress daily and writing progress weekly. 

·      Student entries will include:  analyzing, finding evidence to support analysis, and reflecting.


3.        To teach students time management skills:

·      While students have daily work, journals will be checked daily during poetry journal and collected periodically during each mark period.


The independent reading project represents 25% of each English 9 mark period grade.  Failure to complete IRP journals may result in a failing grade in English 9.


So what do you need?

·      an 10½” x 8” spiral bound, non-perforated notebook

·      a Reading Reminders bookmark

·      a book from the appropriate IRP book list*


So how does this work?

1.        Finding the book:  Begin by choosing and acquiring a book from the IRP book list, found in your freshman English teacher’s classroom, in the Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School library, and on-line at http://online.rkhs.org/.  [Click on E-Learning, then English, next English 9-Ms. Thomas, and Resources]. 

·      Semester One:  Students read nonfiction books (from the prescribed nonfiction reading list).

·      Semester Two:  Students read fiction novels (from the prescribed fiction reading list).

Students are responsible for finding copies of the books they choose to read.  The Rufus King library does not necessarily have all the books on the list, and it may have only one copy of some books.  Books may also be found in the public libraries and in new or used bookstores.  If you read slowly, you may consider buying your books so as not to worry about renewing library books and accumulating library fees!


2.        Personal Reading Record:  Attach this sheet to the inside back cover of your reading notebook.  For each new book write the date, title, author, and number of pages in the book (exclude any introduction or notes after) in the appropriate place.  Each day, fill in the appropriate boxes after completing reading.  Failure to complete the Personal Reading Record will result in no more than a “D” for journals/reflections completed.


3.        Reading 20 minutes and Reflecting:  Read twenty minutes every weeknight and complete your reading journal entry in your reading notebook.  Use the directions on the back of this sheet and your Reading Reminders bookmark.


4.        Writing Reflection:  Each week you will complete a written reflection on what you have read, learned, and thought about related to your reading during the week.  Use the directions on the back of this sheet and your Reading Reminders bookmark to complete this in the reading notebook at the end of the week’s reading journals.


5.        Finishing a Book:  Once you have completed your book, turn your notebook journal in to your teacher.  Failure to turn in the journal after finishing a book may result in lost points.  You have 3 days to write a book review and get another book.  It must be a book from the list if it is your second book.  If you have finished two books from the list, you may choose your own book, but you must get teacher approval before you may begin reading.  Failure to get teacher approval for a book will result in a zero for the journals/reflections completed.



Each Reading Journal entry is worth 10 points, graded on evidence of reading and quality of thought; each weekly Reading Reflection is worth 20 points:  10 points for development and quality of thoughts; 10 points for writing skills (see below).

10 = A

Outstanding work


7 = C

Average work


4 = U

No evidence of thought

9 = A

High quality work


6 = D

Below average work


3 = U

No evidence of reading

8 = B

Good work


5 = U

Did not follow directions


2 = U


So what’s in a Reading Journal?

Beginning a New Book

·      Bibliography:  On the first line at the top of the first journal page for each book you read, write a bibliography for the book.  Use the MLA Quick Reference card for the format.


Every NightEvery journal entry begins on a new page in the notebook.

·      Date:  The date always goes in the left margin at the top of every journal. 


·      Pages read:  Write Pages read just inside the margin to the right of the date.  As you read, use the Reading Reminders strategies to help you.  After you have read for (20) minutes, record the numbers of the pages you read, on what page you began and ended.  Then fill in the personal reading record in the back cover of your reading notebook.


·      Reading Journal:  Skip a line and write Reading Journal.  Create a double entry journal with either Quotes or My Questions and My Thoughts.  (See examples below.)


·      Reading Processing:  Skip a line and write Reading Processing.  Choose one number from evaluate how well you read that best describes the way you read today.  Record that number and elaborate using at least one of the prompts above or below it; feel free to make any comments about your reading.  Consider how your reading skills have improved or what you have learned as you read.


·      Weekly Reading Reflection:  On the next new page in your journal write Reading Reflection.  Then using the elaborate on your thoughts strategies, write at least one well-organized paragraph (minimum 6 sentences) incorporating the grammar skill(s) learned in the previous week(s).


·      Weekly Dialogue Journal:  Now you need to reflect on your writing.  Write Dialogue Journal under your writing reflection.  Answer the following three questions:  How is my writing going?  What is the next step in my writing?  What questions do I have about my writing?  You will receive written feedback to questions you write.