The goal of this lesson is to increase voluntary reading done by students. This is an activity that can’t be done in one day, but it will progress through each grading period. Peer groups will be formed, visits to the library, and "free reading" time must be introduced. Reading is a key part to scoring high on tests and understanding many ideas, therefore it must be practiced on a regular basis.
1. Small area of the classroom comfortable for reading (pillows, bean bag chairs, dictionaries)
2. Variety of books from the library and home about the current week’s topic
3. Superstar chart with stickers and students names for each week
1. Before visiting the library, explain to the students about the various levels of books they will come across. Model examples of the level they should choose to bring into the classroom.
2. At the start of each grading period have the students write up topics of interest on the board. Assign a topic to each week and choose books in the library related to this specific topic.
3. Group children into small divisions of 3-5 students depending on the number in the classroom. Twice a week for 20-30 minutes have the groups get together to discuss the books they have read that week. Discussion can include drawings, parts from the book, pictures, and any questions other students may have. Basically, students talk and share about what they read. If a student finds a book outside the classroom encourage sharing it with their group. The books in the classroom should be available for checkout in the library after the topic has been covered. Group debates and projects may develop from these discussions. The sky is the limit.
4. As a teacher monitor participation during these sessions. Give a star on the chart to all students who can show they have read a book and shared it with their group members. At the end of the grading period students with outstanding progress (a set standard to be developed by each teacher) receive a pizza party during lunch one day.
5. This reward process will encourage students to read outside of the assigned materials. As a teacher, be familiar with the books chosen so you can determine if work has been done and ask questions to show interest. At the end of the year Super Star awards are given to the students who have participated and contributed to voluntary reading during the year. As an assessment I will hold random conferences with the students and listen to any concerns/problems or positive ideas.
NOTE: Reading fluently and regularly is a huge factor in many areas of live. Therefore, it should be given a large amount of time in a daily schedule. Topics should be changed each week, but books can be kept for longer in case of left over time. Invite the students to check books out of the library and share them with their family.
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