Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How do we teach a child to be a lifelong passionate reader?

We let them read...
Plain and simple, just read!!  As teachers we spend a lot of time teaching young readers all of the reading strategies and skills they will need to be independent readers but sometimes we overlook the most obvious thing, reading should be enjoyed.  Imagine you are in the depths of your favorite page turning novel and you hear, "When you get to page 10 stop and write down a prediction.  Summarize in one paragraph what you've read so far. Don't forget to go back and confirm your prediction. Oh and don't forget to use text evidence to support your answers."  Although I can see that this takes all of the passion out of reading and turns it into a chore,  I am one hundred percent guilty of doing this in my classroom.  It's my job to teach the students these metacognitive skills and by the end of the year they will know them (fingers crossed). So how do I do that while keeping them passionate about reading?

I let them read.  Uninterrupted, anywhere they want, next to whomever they would like (or alone) for some time of every day.

Our Classroom Library...I need to point out that this took endless hours of organization madness-     Worth all the time it took!!

My library is organized by genre, category, guided reading level, and some of my bins are by author.  We are on a Dan Gutman, "My Weird School" craze right now :) I have over a thousand books but the students can easily find what they are looking for by the labeled bins.

I have a complete set of polka dot themed book bin labels in my TpT store.  

Using the library: 

Part of the fun in reading is choosing your own books, however as teachers we know this can present a larger problem.  Reading is only fun if you are understanding what you read and choosing the right books for you.  At the start of the school year I do several lessons about how to choose a "Just Right" book.  Here is one of my little ones doing the "Five Finger Test."  

Another problem that I had is the students wanted to spend a good portion of their Independent Reading time browsing through the library. They would choose a book, sit with it for 2 minutes and be back in the library browsing again.  Having a set time in the morning for choosing books seems to have solved that problem.  

The students keep two books at all times in their book bins.  I love that I can easily check through and see what they are reading. I encourage them to read a variety of genres. 
Also in their book bins is their reading folder.  This is the folder they also bring to Guided Reading Group but it's a place for them to keep all "reading things" together in one place. 

I do ask the kids to keep a log of the books they have read each month.  It's simple and painless and the kids don't seem to mind doing it at all.  

I have to say that letting kids read (just read) makes me feel like I am doing my part in teaching my students to be lifelong passionate readers. 

1 comment:

  1. I love that you have them choose books every morning. And I am so in awe of your organization! I have bins full of uncategorized books which drives me insane!