Getting Kids to Love Reading

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Getting Kids to Love Reading

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1colombe
Maio 23, 2008, 11:39am

Hey, all!

What do you do in your classrooms to encourage reading/literacy? Post your ideas here. :)

One thing that I'm doing in my second grade class is for the month of May, we have a Chapter Book Challenge. Our challenge is to read (I mean, REALLY read) as many chapter books as possible. I have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes... as well as honorable mentions for whoever participates. 1st place prize is to have McDonald's lunch with me, a new book, and a bookmark. ;) (You'd be surprised how excited they are about that!!) For each book they complete and get either a parent's signature OR take a quiz on, then they get a "book page" to fill out and put on their "book."

We have a bulletin board to track our progress:


This is to really raise the literacy standards in my class and to firm up a love of reading. I was tired of everyone (even other second grade teachers!!) saying that second graders can't read chapter books. BOLOGNA! Yes, they can. And they will love it. :)

Chelsea :)

2hearts3134
Jun 29, 2008, 11:33pm

One thing that usually gets more of my fourth graders interested in books is when I read just part of a longer book aloud to them. It also helps if it is a book by a prolific author or part of a series, it really piques their interest.

I also have lots of books available for them to read in the classroom and to checkout to take home. Easy access can really make a difference!

3YAbookfest
Dez 3, 2009, 7:29am

This brings back very sad 2nd grade memories for me. I was an avid reader, but I always read way beyond my grade level. Since I was reading longer and more complex pieces, I didn't read as many books so I was lagging behind the others on the chart the teacher posted. I knew I was a good reader and felt her chart was unfair and embarrassing. Is there some way to give recognition for something other than sheer quantity? How about having your advanced reader do a "book talk" to the class, encouraging higher level reading. Or honoring your "most improved" student to encourage good efforts.

4lamplight
Editado: Dez 12, 2010, 11:58am

#3 -- Good suggestion. I'm always surprised and saddened when people tell me their elementary school horror stories. I always understand it from the teacher's point of view, but realize that unwittingly we sometimes hurt some poor little souls too.

I have a "Snuggle Up and Read" program in my SK/Grade 1 class. They bring a book home every day, if they want to, or whenever they need a new book. They read it to or with their parents. Parents help record the book, and initial the record sheet. At five books, they get a sticker prize. At 10 books, they get a "pencil box" prize (pencil or eraser). The only reason I give rewards is so that they make sure I see their record sheet at certain points. But, of course, there are other benefits to the reward system. The real reward is having parents and kids read together, and it's sad that the school has to be the catalyst for that. But it's working!

5fuzzy_patters
Dez 12, 2010, 11:05pm

#4-- My son's kindergarten teacher does the same thing. It doesn't help my son much. His parents are both teachers and readers, so his sheet is usually filled up within a couple of days. However, I am sure that it has had a positive effect on the literacy of his classmates.

6katy88tx
Dez 29, 2010, 1:24pm

I'm a third grade teacher and have had a difficult time with students coming to me just excited to read as many chapter books as they can. I have discovered that so many of them aren't reading for meaning but are just reading to finish. When I talk about their books with them they can't tell me accurate details or the overall gist of the story. I have to do a lot of reteaching of what real reading is especially with the lower readers who will sit and turn pages just to look like they are reading a chapter book. Even some of my higher readers try to read the longest books they can get their hands on as if more pages means better reader. It takes quite a long time to convince some of them that "reading is meaning" and to read without meaning is cheating themselves.

7jeffjackson
Jan 4, 2011, 6:01pm

We've started our our own week long Writer's Festival. It's a chance to invite an author, have a character dressup day, read a story simmultaneously, publish our school book (writing from every student) and bits and pieces. Perhaps the best part is the lead up as we encourage students to emerse themselves in the texts of an invited author, collecting questions along the way. the week proves to be a celebration of literacy as a whole.

8stined
Fev 12, 2011, 6:15pm

One program that helps teachers know if students are really reading a book is the Accelerated Reader program by Renaisance Learning. It does not work for everyone, and does tend to be expensive if you were to purchase it on your own. The short test about the story is a way to 'prove' that the child read the story. Those children with comprehension or recall problem will have some problems with this type of progam though. Longer books are worth more points so this might help with the problem above (message 3).

9laurensx
Fev 27, 2011, 3:33pm

When Scholastic has books for $1, I usually buy a class set. If I use the book as a read-aloud, I give each child a copy as a gift. The kids love reading along with me and some even take notes in their books. I always give the children the option of donating their copy back to the class. They have the opportunity to enjoy a book and then leave it for someone else.

10LindaJ57
Mar 18, 2011, 9:39pm

Hi katy88tx,

A couple of things that I do with my third graders that may be helpful (if you're already doing these, ignore):

1. Teach your students how to pick out a "Just Right" book, i.e., a book that has an interesting: title and/or topic, cover picture, and synopsis on the back cover; and a book that is not too easy/hard - use the "5 finger rule" - students should read the first 1 - 3 pages; if they come to 5+ words that they don't know, they should "keep that for later in the year" and pick out something that is more comfortable for their current reading level. If students are reading a Just Right book, they should be able to tell you the story elements at a brief conference; if not, I would have them reread the book.
2. Prepare some leveled book boxes, perhaps sorted by DRA or FP levels, and put the names of the students that most of the books in the box would be just right for. Then when they choose a book from the general classroom library and can't retell it, direct them to choose from their leveled book box. They should know that this box contains just right books for them, and that you are expecting them to be accountable for those stories whether it be an oral conference with you or a written response that gets passed in.
3. Prepare boxes of book series (MTH, Horrible Harry, Boxcar, Cam Jansen, etc.), and read the first of the series aloud to a small group or the class to spark interest around the characters and premise of the series.
4. Hold them accountable for a written book response for each IR book they finish. Provide a choice of generic book response sheets that students will choose from when they finish reading. The sheets should be leveled somewhat to basically match the writing/comprehension ability of the students (but don't make one for each individual - use your judgment).
5. Encourage students to read from a variety of genres. Have students read a book independently, and then share their book with a buddy reading the same genre. They can then have a short book chat, followed by completing a simple book response sheet about their book. They could also compare it to their partner's book.
6. Try to get some books in pairs so kids can read independently first, and then read the same book with a buddy and write a short response about the book and about their sharing activity.

The book sharing activity might be something that they have to earn, and they can do that by doing a good job on their IR work.

I tell my students that very long books are good for at home, but that they should be reading a wide variety of authors and genres in school. Good luck!