Reading, Sharing, and Comparing
Growing Independence and Fluency
Sandy Kraeger
 

Rationale:

Students need to see that reading is fun and that it can help them learn more about topics that they are interested in. Teachers should encourage students to explore many types of literature until they find something that they like.  In order to do this the students should be familiar and comfortable in the library, they should share and compare what they are reading with both their peers, teachers, and family members, and they should be allow to read their own choice of literature during class time regularly.

Materials:

-a wide array of books of various topics and reading levels like Lee and the Team and A Cat Nap from Educational Insights, Caldecott winners like In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming, The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, and various others.
- Individual charts for students to record their readings
- Places for children to read quietly and comfortably

Procedures:

1. Introduce the importance of reading for pleasure to the students.  "TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT READING FOR FUN.  READING CAN TEACH YOU NEW THINGS AND BOOKS CAN KEEP YOU COMPANY WHEN YOU ARE BORED.  I AM CERTAIN THAT YOU CAN FIND A BOOK ABOUT ANY TOPIC THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TO READ.  LET'S GO TO THE LIBRARY AND BROWSE."

2. Review the methods for selecting an appropriate book, for instance the 2 Finger Method.  "BETTY, CAN YOU REMIND THE CLASS ABOUT THE 2 FINGER FINGER RULE?" This will remind students that if they pick a book that has more than two unidentifiable words on a single page they need to choose one that is less difficult to read.  Also, review the areas of the library and the types of books that are located in each area.  You could ask random students, "SAM, CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE I WOULD LOOK TO FIND A BOOK ABOUT MY HOBBY OF BUILDING MODELS?" This will reinforce the layout of the library and hopefully make the students' task of finding a book to their liking easier.

3.  After each student has selected a book, and you are back in the classroom you can review the process of cross checking. STUDENTS, DO YOU REMEMBER HOW WE CROSS CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT WE ARE READING MAKES SENSE?  LET'S TRY SOME EXAMPLES AND YOU TRY TO CORRECT ME IF YOU THINK I HAVE MADE A MISTAKE. The teacher reads a few sentences from a book and the students attempt to catch mistakes that the teacher makes.  It helps if the book the teacher reads from is one that the students are familiar with at first, and then you can move onto more challenging unfamiliar books. Remind students that it is important for them to go back and re-read sentences if they do not sound correct.

4. Next, the teacher should allow the students to pick a place in the room to sit quietly and read.  This should be done on a regular basis.  Teachers should set a aside a specific time and allow the children to get out of their desk to be comfortable and read.

5. After the students have read for a limited time, have them share what they have learned with other students, yourself, or their parents.  This allows for them to spark interest in their friends to encourage them to continue reading.  It also makes them feel special because they know something new and can share it with others.  Teachers should ask the children questions to verify that the child has actually read the book. As a class students can compare things about their book that are similar to another child's. This assessment can be done by asking questions to individuals with the class in seated as a group or during one-on-one conferences with just the student and the teacher.  Students can also create a chart listing all the books that they have completed.  Children will find pleasure in adding books to the list and watching it grow longer and longer as the year progresses.

References:

Fleming, Denise.  In the Small, Small Pond.  Scholastic.  c. 1993.  29 pp.
Lesson by Jaclyn Mitchell "Reading is Fun" http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/chall/mitchellgf.html
Stewart, Sarah.  The Gardener.  Scholastic.  c. 1997 30 pp.  David Small.

Sample Reading Chart:
 
 
Title Author Illustrator Number of Pages Date Completed
The Gardener Sarah Stewart David Small 30 04/15/02

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