Re-Engage Your Readers and Writers After a Long Break


As students return to school after a long break, you might notice that their reading stamina isn’t where it was a few weeks ago. This is a good time to collect some data and use that data to get kids re-engaged.

An Engagement Inventory is a Great Assessment Tool

A tool that I first learned about from Jennifer Serravallo is the Reading Engagement Inventory. It is a quick class-at-a-glance assessment that can help you collect data on a student’s stamina during independent reading time. Here is a video I created to explain this tool.

Assess Students’ Reading Engagement with This Engagement Inventory

Collecting the data isn’t the most important part. In the words of Frank Serafini author of Classroom Reading Assessments, “If you aren’t going to look at it, don’t gather it!” I couldn’t agree more! We don’t have time to waste collecting data that we will never use to guide instruction.

Use the Data to Lead Small Group Instruction

So once you gather the data from this engagement inventory, you can use it to have problem-solving conversations with kids in a conference or small group. You might try pulling a small group to do an inquiry together: “What seems to be getting in the way during independent reading time?”

  1. Together with students, brainstorm possible problems (my book is too hard, this book isn’t interesting to me, I can’t get comfortable, too many noises, I don’t have time to read at home, etc.).
  2. Then brainstorm some solutions.
  3. Invite students to set a goal.
  4. Follow up with the group in a day or two to celebrate or adjust goals.

Remember that reading engagement is an entire reading skill area and just like we lead conferences and small groups for word study, fluency, and comprehension, we also might need to pull groups to support engagement!

Using an Engagement Inventory to Help Give Grades

I also created another video for you. This one describes how you might use the engagement inventory to help you assign one possible grade for independent reading time.

Use a Reading Engagement Inventory to Give a Reading Workshop Grade

One more tip: Engagement inventories work for independent writing time, too! 

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