Mercer International Middle School

Mercer International
Middle School

Goals for Independent Reading

Setting Goals for Independent Reading


  • Goal 1: Provide 20-30 minutes of daily independent reading in class.
  • Goal 2: Match students to books they can read and enjoy.
  • Goal 3: Meet regularly with students to compliment strengths, coach into skills, and set goals for growth.
  • Goal 4: Keep records to track and monitor student progress.


  • Goal 1: Read a lot! (Class and home)
  • Goal 2: Read books that you love! (near your level)
  • Goal 3: Practice reading skills! (learned in class)
  • Goal 4: Keep track of your thinking! (and growth)

Here’s how you can help support independent reading at home

Great Questions to Ask your Child

About Reading

  • “What time are you going to do your reading tonight?”
  • “What are you enjoying about your book?”
  • “Would you like a new book?”
  • “Show me an example of something you wrote about your reading in class.”
  • “Give me an example of something you are learning in reading class.”

About characters

  • “What kind of person is (Character)?”
  • “How is (character) changing?”
  • “How does (character 1) affect (character 2)?

About themes

  • “What do you think the (object) symbolizes?”
  • “What has (character) learned in this book?”
  • “What ideas about life are brought up in this book?”

About conflict and setting

  • “What problems is (character) experiencing right now?”
  • “What is the setting and why is it important?”
  • “Why is this moment/scene important?”

Great answers to hear from your child

About reading

  • 20-30 minutes in a quiet environment.
  • Enjoys the book they reading (Interesting, not too hard/too easy).
  • Visit the library or bookstore.
  • Can show you writing about reading from their post-it notes or reading notebook.
  • Can give you an example of what they are learning in reading class.

About characters

  • Identifies character traits.
  • Can talk about the relationships between characters.  
  • Identifies a change in character’s thoughts, feelings, traits, or actions.
  • Compares present traits to past traits.

About themes

  • Has an idea of what an object or symbol means and can explain why.
  • Can identify lessons that can be learned from the book.
  • Can identify social issues in the book similar to those in real life.

About conflict and setting

  • Can talk about more than one problem in the story.
  • Can describe where and when the story takes place and how it affects the characters.
  • Can make connections between causes and effects to understand why the scene matters in the story.