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Homework Pages For Independent Reading Scholastic News

Independent reading is a key component of my reader’s workshop and the favorite time of day for many of my students. It allows them time to practice skills and strategies that they have been taught in a real-world setting — their classroom.

Following our mini-lesson, my 3rd graders head into their independent reading with a task, knowing that they will be held accountable for writing about or reflecting upon what they’ve read. A few times a week, this task involves completing a reading response sheet in their reading binders.

This week I will share with you a few of the response forms and graphic organizers that I created for my students to use with fiction throughout the year. These forms are used one to three times a week in my room, and they take about 15 minutes to complete. I always model each sheet and complete at least one with my students before I expect them to complete one on their own.


Reading Binders: Where It All Begins

My student’s reading binders are definitely a work in progress. The binders are organized by dividers with colored tabs into sections matching the comprehension strategies I teach.

There are sections entitled "Making Connections," "Visualizing," "Asking Questions/Wondering," "Inferring," "Story Elements," "Summarizing," and "Open-Ended Response." The very front of each binder includes a reading log where students can track their reading throughout the year.


Download reading log by clicking on the image above.


Making Connections

When I teach students about making connections, I am careful to explain the difference between “surface” connections and those that go deeper.

I developed this organizer to help my 3rd graders go beyond the literal connections they favor early in the year, like "I’m a girl, too" or "We both have dogs!" While those are starting points, I like my students to understand that the purpose of making connections is to help them understand a character’s feelings or motivations, and to help them infer and predict while they read.

Download files by clicking on the images above.



I use these organizers when teaching students how to closely read the author’s words to make pictures in their mind. When one of my students asked if it was OK if he made "little movies in his mind" while he read, I knew he understood what visualizing was all about!

Download files by clicking on the images above.


Asking Questions/Wondering

Developing readers benefit from being taught to stop and think about what they are reading. After mini-lessons on this topic, students use these organizers to help them remember to stop and reflect on what they've read. When my students are just beginning to use this strategy, I guide them with pre-selected stopping points “during reading.” Periodically while they are reading, I ask them to pause, reflect, and ponder using their sticky notes or graphic organizer as a tool. 

Download files by clicking on the images above.



In class, we have several mini-lessons on how you combine an author’s words with your own schema to understand what is happening in a story, even if it’s not explicitly stated. This organizer helps students make sense of the text using inferring skills.

Download file by clicking on the image above.


This graphic organizer helps students understand their character’s thoughts and motivations in a text. Visit my posts from earlier this year, "Teaching Character Traits in Reader's Workshop" and "Bringing Characters to Life in Writer's Workshop" for more graphic organizers that I use when teaching character traits to my students.  

Download file by clicking on the image above.



Story Elements

I created this sheet to help students think about setting. It helps them understand the important role setting plays in a story and makes them think critically about how the story would change if the setting were altered. 

Download file by clicking on the image above.


I use many different professionally made sheets to help my students with settings, and problem and solution. Scholastic makes so many wonderful graphic organizers for these areas: there was no need to make my own! Below are a few you may like to add to your student binders.

From Scholastic Printables:

"Setting Comparison"

"Problem & Solution Diagram"

"Problem/Solution Chart"



We model summary writing over and over again in our classroom. This is the sheet students use when they are ready to tackle summarizing on their own. The key is explicit feedback that helps them know how to write a strong, sequential summary. The difference I see in their skills by the end of 3rd grade is amazing.

Download file by clicking on the image above.

Open-Ended Response

Frequently I will pose a question or write a prompt on the board before students start reading that they know they will need to respond to afterwards. They use the sheet below, which they call "the regular page," probably the most throughout the year.

Download file by clicking on the image above.


Having students respond to their independent reading serves several purposes in my classroom:

  • First, it offers me a window into how they are thinking, processing, and comprehending while they are reading. By reading their written response, I can quickly tell if a student has a full understanding of the text or the comprehension strategy being taught. I will often formulate my guided reading and strategy groups based on what I’ve learned from their written responses.
  • Second, these responses act as formative assessments for several of the Common Core State Standards for Reading Literature and Informational Text. Using their responses as an assessment tool allows me to differentiate my instruction and maximize success for readers at all levels.
  • Finally, I’ve discovered that my students stay more focused on their reading if they know they will be responsible for writing about it afterward. The longer they are focused, the more practice they’re getting, which is my whole goal for their independent reading time.

I've been using these sheets in my classroom for years, and they have worked very well for all fiction texts. I’ll share my ideas for responding to nonfiction texts and my ideas for engaging, short reading responses in an upcoming post.


Other resources I use frequently for my reading binders include:

I love using this book at the beginning of the year because the graphic organizers are very simple and easy for my 3rd graders to manage. This book covers all the areas of reading I mentioned above, and we keep a few of these graphic organizers in each section of their binders. These are sometimes used as "free choice" reading response sheets. 
This book is very similar to the one above, and I use it in the exact same way. It is geared towards older elementary students, but the differentiated levels are perfect for some of my more advanced readers. 
These prompts are great to use for open-ended responses. There are many excellent critical-thinking prompts to get your students thinking within, beyond, and about the text. 
A few times a year, my students like to write longer responses to books they have finished, and this book has many great ideas for easy, independent projects. 
I honestly think that this was the very first graphic organizer resource I ever bought, and I have gotten more than my money's worth. There are wonderful organizers in here that I use with my students for setting, plot, sequencing, and much, much more. 

What do you do in your classroom to get the most out of your students' independent reading time? Please share in the comments section below.






StatusPublic Company
S&P 600 Component
FoundedOctober 22, 1920; 97 years ago (1920-10-22) (as Scholastic Publishing Company)
Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
FounderMaurice R. Robinson
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location557 Broadway, New York City, New York 10012
Key peopleRichard Robinson, CEO, President & Chairman; Kenneth Cleary, CFO
Publication typesBooks, Magazines, pre-K to grade 12 instructional programs, classroom magazines, films, television
Nonfiction topicschildren's literacy and education
RevenueUS$1,672.8 million (2016)[1]
No. of employees9,700 (2014)[2]
Official websitewww.scholastic.com

Scholastic Corporation is an American multinational publishing, education and media company known for publishing, selling, and distributing books and educational materials for schools, teachers, parents, and children. Products are distributed to schools and districts, to consumers through the schools via reading clubs and fairs, and through retail stores and online sales. The business has three segments: Children Book Publishing & Distribution (Trade, Book Clubs and Book Fairs), Education, and International. Scholastic holds the perpetual U.S. publishing rights to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games book series.[3][4] Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in print and digital educational materials for pre-K to grade 12.

In addition to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, the company is known for its school book clubs and book fairs, classroom magazine Scholastic News, and popular book series: Clifford the Big Red Dog, Goosebumps, The Magic School Bus, Captain Underpants, Animorphs, and I Spy. Scholastic also publishes instructional reading and writing programs, and offers professional learning and consultancy services for school improvement. Clifford the Big Red Dog serves as the mascot for Scholastic.


In 1920, Maurice R. "Robbie" Robinson founded the business he named Scholastic Publishing Company in his hometown of Wilkinsburg, right outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a publisher of youth magazines, the first publication was The Western Pennsylvania Scholastic. It covered high school sports and social activities and debuted on October 22, 1920.[5]

In 1926, Scholastic published its first book, Saplings, a collection of selected student writings by winners of the Scholastic Writing Awards.

For many years the company continued its focus on serving the youth market, publishing low-cost magazines and later paperback books. The company continued under the name Scholastic Magazines throughout the 1970s.

After World War II, cheap paperback books became available. In 1948, Scholastic entered the school book club business with its division T.A.B., or Teen Age Book Club, offering classic titles priced at 25 cents.

In 1957, Scholastic established its first international subsidiary in Toronto Scholastic Canada, later moving to Markham, Ontario.

By the 1960s, international publishing locations were added in England (1964), New Zealand (1964) and Sydney (1968).[6]

In 1974, Richard "Dick" Robinson, the son of founder M. R. Robinson, became President of Scholastic Inc. Named Chief Executive Officer in 1975 and Chairman in 1982, he remains in these positions.

During the 1970s, Scholastic was well known for Scholastic Book Clubs, a book purchasing service delivered through schools, and magazine publications aimed at youths: Wow (preschoolers and elementary schoolers), Dynamite (pre-teens), and Bananas (teens). Scholastic now publishes 33 classroom magazines including Scholastic News, Action, Scope, Storyworks, SuperScience, Science World, Math and more, that reach 14 million readers.

The Scholastic Education business sells instructional reading and writing programs such as Guided and leveled reading and print and digital classroom magazines, along with professional learning programs and consulting/training on Family & Community Engagement and Learning Supports. Classroom Magazines have 15 million subscribers.

During the mid-1990s, Scholastic entered the educational technology market, working with Dr. Ted Hasselbring of Vanderbilt University to create READ 180, a blended-learning, reading intervention program for students in grades 4 through 12 who are two or more grades below grade level. Since then, READ 180 has been listed in the What Works Clearinghouse and has a record of positive results in a wide range of efficacy studies with various student populations, including special education students and English language learners. Scholastic Education has since created SYSTEM 44, a technology-based phonics program for students in grades 3 through 12, iREAD, a supplemental educational technology program for grades K-2, MATH 180, mathematics intervention for middle school, and FasttMath, a technology based program to teach basic math facts. The EdTech and Services business was sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2015 for $575 million.

To appeal to American children, in 1997, Scholastic (through Arthur A. Levine Books) purchased the U.S. publication rights to the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; it was renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It continues to publish Harry Potter books, each title a best seller.

Scholastic's growth has continued by acquiring other media companies. In February 2012, it bought Weekly Reader Publishing from Reader's Digest Association, and announced in July that year that it planned to discontinue separate issues of Weekly Reader magazines after more than a century of publication, and co-branded the magazines as "Scholastic News/Weekly Reader".[7] Other acquisitions include Klutz in 2002, and the reference publisher Grolier, which publishes the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia and The New Book of Knowledge in 2000 and Weston Woods Studios in 1996. In 2015, Scholastic acquired Troubadour, Ltd. in the U.K.

During the 2000 presidential election, Scholastic organized the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, which today includes more than 30 national and International kid reporters ages 10–14.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards[edit]

Founded in 1923 by Maurice R. Robinson, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, administered by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, have motivated more than 13 million students, recognized more than 9 million young artists and writers, and provided more than $25 million in awards and scholarships. These Awards have been the largest source of scholarship funding for teenage artists and writers, and the nation's longest-running, most prestigious art and writing awards.

In the U.S.A, the process begins as young artists and writers submit creative works to the Alliance's regional affiliates. The most outstanding works of art and writing (Gold Key and Silver Key winners) from each region are forwarded to the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers in New York City to be reviewed on a national level. Panels of professional jurors select the national award recipients. Regional awards are administered by a network of nearly 100 affiliates that include school systems and school boards, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, foundations, arts agencies, businesses, libraries, museums, teacher councils and institutions of higher education, which share a commitment to identifying emerging local artists and writers.

The Awards recognize written and artistic works in 30 categories, including Architecture, Comic Art, Ceramics & Glass, Digital Art, Design, Drawing, Fashion, Film & Animation, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Video Games, Art Portfolio, Photography Portfolio, Dramatic Script, Humor, Journalism, Personal Essay/Memoir, Persuasive Writing, Poetry, Novel Writing, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Short Story, Short, Short Story, General Writing Portfolio, Nonfiction Portfolio, and Creativity & Citizenship.

Recipients of The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards include Richard Anuszkiewicz, Richard Avedon, Harry Bertoia, Mel Bochner, Truman Capote, Paul Davis, Frances Farmer, Red Grooms, Robert Indiana, Bernard Malamud, Joyce Maynard, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Pearlstein, Peter S. Beagle, Sylvia Plath, Robert Redford, Jean Stafford, Mozelle Thompson, Ned Vizzini, Kay WalkingStick, Andy Warhol, and Charles White, all of whom won when they were in high school.[citation needed]

Imprints and corporate divisions[edit]

Trade Publishing Imprints include:

  • Arthur A. Levine Books, which specializes in fiction and non-fiction books for young readers. The imprint was founded at Scholastic in 1996 by Arthur Levine in New York City. The first book published by Arthur A. Levine Books was When She Was Good by Norma Fox Mazer in autumn of 1997. The imprint is most notable as the publisher for the American editions of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.[8][9][10]
  • The Blue Sky Press
  • Cartwheel Books
  • The Chicken House
  • Franklin Watts
  • Graphix
  • Klutz Press
  • Little Apple Books
  • Little Shepherd
  • Michael di Capua Books
  • Orchard Books
  • Point
  • PUSH
  • Éditions Scholastic (French Canada)
  • Scholastic Australia made up of Koala Books, Margaret Hamilton Books, Omnibus Books, and Scholastic Press.[11][non-primary source needed]
  • Scholastic en español
  • Scholastic Paperbacks
  • Scholastic Press
  • Scholastic Reference

Corporate divisions:

  • Children's Book Publishing and Distribution
  • Children's Press (spelled until 1995 as Childrens Press). Founded in 1945[12] and originally based in Chicago, Illinois, this press published the Rookie Read-About series and also has a secondary imprint, Franklin Watts. In 1996, Children's Press became a division of Grolier, which became an imprint of Scholastic Corporation in 2000.
  • Scholastic Trade Publishing
  • Scholastic Book Clubs
  • Scholastic Book Fairs
  • Scholastic Education
  • Scholastic Classroom and Community Group (Classroom Books, Guided Reading, www.scholastic.com/news|Classroom Magazines, Teaching Resources and www.scholastic.com/FACE|F.A.C.E. – Family & Community Engagement)
  • Scholastic International
  • Media, Licensing and Advertising (Scholastic Media, Consumer & Professional Magazines, Scholastic National Partnerships)
  • Scholastic National Service Organization (Distribution center in Jefferson City, MO)
  • eScholastic

Selected list of publications[edit]

Scholastic Media[edit]

Scholastic Media is a corporate division[13] led by Deborah Forte since 1995. It covers "all forms of media and consumer products, and is comprised of four main groups – Productions, Marketing & Consumer Products, Interactive, and Audio." Weston Woods is its production studio, acquired in 1996, as was Soup2Nuts from 2001–2015 before shutting down.[14]

Scholastic has produced audiobooks such as the Caldecott/Newbery Collection;[15] TV serial adaptations such as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Animorphs, The Magic School Bus, and Goosebumps; and feature films such as Harry Potter, Tuck Everlasting, Clifford's Really Big Movie, Goosebumps, The Golden Compass, and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. It will produce the 39 Clues and as Scholastic Productions produced the series Voyagers!, My Secret Identity, and Charles in Charge.

Book clubs[edit]

Scholastic book clubs are offered at schools in many countries. Typically, teachers administer the program to the students in their own classes, but in some cases, the program is administered by a central contact for the entire school. Within Scholastic, Reading Clubs is a separate unit (compared to, e.g., Education). Reading clubs are arranged by age/grade.

Scholastic also offers a host of specialty book club fliers including Club Leo (Spanish language for grades K–8), and Click (Computer games and media for all ages).

Scholastic typically offers participating schools and classrooms 1 "point" for every dollar (or local unit of currency) of products ordered. Additional points may be earned during special promotion times, such as the beginning of the school year. Points may then be redeemed for books and school supplies at a rate of approximately 20 points to the dollar. At minimum, schools earn 5% of book orders in free products. With special promotions, return rate can be higher (15–100%).

Going Green[edit]

Under the guidance of the Rainforest Alliance and other environmental groups, Scholastic set a goal to have 30 percent of the publication paper it buys be Forest Stewardship Council-certified within five years. A quarter of the paper it uses also will be recycled, with 75 percent being post-consumer waste.[16]

Scholastic Parents Media[edit]

Scholastic Parents Media publishes the Scholastic Parent & Children Magazine. The group also specializes in online advertising sales and custom programs designed for parents and children ages 0–6.[17]


Scholastic has been criticized for inappropriately marketing to children. Also, Scholastic now requires parents to submit children's names with birth dates to place online orders, creating controversy. A significant number of titles carried have strong media tie-ins and are considered relatively short in literary and artistic merit by some critics.[18] Consumer groups have also attacked Scholastic for selling too many toys and video games to children, rather than focusing on just books. In July, 2005, Scholastic determined that certain leases previously accounted for as operating leases should have been accounted for as capital leases. The cumulative effect, if recorded in the current year, would be material. As a result, it decided to restate its financial statements.

Key personnel[edit]

  • Richard Robinson – Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scholastic Inc.[19]
  • Kenneth Cleary – Chief Financial Officer, Scholastic Inc.[19]
  • Ellie Berger – Executive Vice President and President, Trade Publishing[19]
  • Alan Boyko – President, Scholastic Book Fairs[19]
  • Kyle Good – Senior Vice President Corporate Communications and Media Relations, Scholastic Inc.[19]
  • Andrew Hedden – Executive Vice President, General Counsel[19]
  • Nelson Hitchcock – Executive Vice President, President, International[19]
  • Judy Newman – President, Book Clubs and E-Commerce[19]
  • Hugh Roome – Executive Vice President and President, Consumer and Professional Publishing[19]
  • Greg Worrell – President, Scholastic Education[19]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

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