Reading Stamina Chart

Read to Self, Reading Long & Strong

UDL 3.3 UDL 6.4

A Reading Stamina Chart is a visualization tool in which students track the amount of time spent engaged in reading independently (i.e., without becoming distracted or distracting others) in order to monitor stamina and progress over time. Students use their charts to set daily achievable goals based on previous performance (e.g., a student who was able to focus and read independently for 9 minutes on Day 1, might set a goal of 10 minutes for Day 2). Over several consecutive independent reading sessions (e.g., one week up to one month), students use a timer to gauge how long they were able to read without interruption, and then color boxes in a column to represent daily times on the graph. To support students’ ability to focus and read independently for increasingly longer periods, a teacher provides strategies for building stamina (e.g., sit away from distractors, the right to “abandon” a book after realizing it strongly lacks interest).

Implementation Tips

Reading Stamina Chart Sheets
Prepare pre-filled blank chart outlines (e.g., minutes on the y-axis, days on the x-axis) for students to use when tracking daily reading times or print [[ | this version ]]. Make sure Reading Stamina Charts include enough space to track at least a week’s worth of reading sessions.
Organize materials that students will need for stamina tracking (e.g., timers, colored pencils or markers) and make sure they are easily accessible for student use before independent reading begins. Decide how students will store Reading Stamina Charts (e.g., in a reading folder, stapled inside a reading notebook).
Introducing a Reading Stamina Chart
Present a blank and [[ | completed version of a Reading Stamina Chart ]] to model how to track “engaged reading” time (e.g., “Each day, you will color in the number of minutes you were able to stay focused as a reader. This will be a clear way to observe and set personal goals!”).
Reading Pep Talks
Incorporate a motivating pep talk and chant before students begin reading and tracking their stamina by huddling students together like a coach on the day of a big game day with all hands stacked in the middle. Tell students, “Our brains get stronger every time we read. Today and every day, let’s work to strengthen our brains and increase our reading power. 1, 2, 3, READ!”
Creating a Supportive Reading Environment
Help students create a supportive reading environment by asking students to sit away from distractions (e.g., a noisy radiator, peers who they are likely to interact with), to select a position that is most comfortable (e.g., sitting in a chair, on the floor), and to prepare “on-deck” books.
Providing Feedback
Reinforce positive reading behaviors by circulating and providing feedback to help redirect students that become distracted or fall off-task (e.g., “I noticed you’re having a difficult time keeping your eyes on the print. Is the book too easy/difficult/uninteresting? Are you distracted by others?).
Provide students with an opportunity to self-reflect on their reading stamina progress after the first full week of recordings. Allow students to work individually or in partnerships to review their charts. Students can use a [[ | two-column graphic organizer ]] to identify their successes and what they would like to change.
Building a Routine
Present Reading Stamina Charts at the beginning of the year to help set reading expectations and continue to use these charts periodically to reinforce the importance of “engaged reading,” or when independent reading stamina seems to be decreasing due to distractions.


Setting Class-wide Expectations for Reading Success
At the beginning of the school year, a teacher focuses on the importance of reading with stamina (e.g., “Just like well trained Olympians, when we are preparing to become fluent, proficient, powerful readers, we need to build up our endurance and focus!”). The teacher presents a blank Reading Stamina Chart and models how students will track their reading progress overtime. The teacher explains, “We have to consider what proper, engaged reading looks like.” The class works together to build a [[ | list of successful reading characteristics ]] (e.g., eyes on the text, not giving up on tricky parts). After, individual Reading Stamina Charts are distributed along with timers. Students are directed to time how long they can read independently without distractions.
Individualized Support
During independent reading, a teacher notices that a student is having difficulty staying on-task (e.g., spends significant time looking around the classroom or other avoidance behaviors). To provide motivational support, the teacher introduces a Reading Stamina Chart to the student. First, questions are asked to determine what might be hindering the student’s focus (e.g., Do you have “just-right” books? Are you finding your books interesting? Are there other specific distractions?). After, the teacher explains that a timer will be used to monitor how long the student can engage in on-task reading. After being timed, the students works with the teacher to set a goal for the next day (e.g., “Today, I was an engaged reader for 7 minutes! Tomorrow I’ll try to beat my record and stay focused as a reader for 9 minutes!).

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