You asked about the specific IDR tasks I assign each day.
Most often, the IDR task is directly related to the mini-lesson I am teaching. For example, If I am teaching a lesson about context clues, I will ask students to briefly write about a word that they were able to solve that day using a context-clue strategy I taught in the mini-lesson. They would do such a task on the "3-to-a-page" IDR task response sheet that I reference in my "Reader's Notebook" post. (Here is a link to that post: http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2009/11/readers-notebook.html ) This is the most common type of task I assign because I want my students reading most of the time. I do not want them having to spend more time responding to their reading than actually being engaged in their texts.
On another day an IDR task might just be to use sticky notes to mark places in their text where they notice something. For example, when teaching students to pay attention to a character's dialogue when inferring character traits, I just ask them to write the character trait they are inferring on a sticky note and place it next to the corresponding dialogue in their text. This holds them accountable for applying the skill I taught in the mini-lesson, but it does not detract from their independent reading.
In my Reader's Notebook post, I also show how I ask my students to "talk back to their books" on sticky notes. I do not assign this task on an extremely regular basis. However, if there is not a specific task for the day, I may ask my readers to "talk back to your book at least 3 times today." If I have a concern about a specific student's comprehension, I may ask that student to talk back to his book on sticky notes more often just so that I can "see" his thinking even when I am not reading with him directly.
Another reading response task that is when students actually pick from one of the reading response prompts from the "Reading Response Topics" handout. (See Reader's Notebook" post again.) These are longer pieces of writing that require students to put forth a great deal of thought and effort. I only ask my students to do this once or twice a month. They are usually given a week's notice so that they can even take it home if they prefer. The responses are usually at least a page long and are written to me as a letter. I try to respond to each student's response with a letter back to the student.
I hope this helps you to understand more thoroughly how I assign IDR tasks each day.
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