Friday, October 7, 2011

Building a Reading Life Success Tip # 4

Building a Reading Life Tip # 4:  GO TO LIBRARY/MEDIA TIME WITH YOUR STUDENTS and capitalize on this time. Hopefully you have another adult in the library with you. Most of your students are busy looking for books and you can really take this time to help as many readers as you can choose amazing books that they will be successful with and that will keep them begging to read more. 

Remember when I said  I was not willing to level my classroom library until the strategies  I have in place for helping students choose books no longer work? I think this is one of the greatest strategies you can use to help bridge the gap between the conversations that happen in the classroom and what books students choose in the library. Choosing just right books is often one of my first intervention topics with struggling readers--while it also helps keep growing readers from developing apathy towards reading.

Be ready...know where to head in the library (this is where the series list I posted yesterday comes in handy), but I make sure I try to leave the decision making up to the child. Our conversation usually goes something like this "Hey, supersweetchild, want to look for books together? What about this one? Wow, let's look at the back (I usually read it aloud because the backs of books tend to be harder to read/understand than the actually book itself). Whoa, what do you think might happen in this book? Let's flip through it. Oh, it looks like it's arranged in chapters and the chapters have titles--that will be helpful (or Ohhhh the chapters don't have titles, so I know it will be important to think what this chapter was about before I move on to the next one). Why don't you read a page and see how this book feels?...Well, this book seems really cool, but I'm going to let you decide if you want to read it." etc. etc. etc. In the 5-10 minutes I work with a child in the library, I show them I care about their reading life (again, not just expecting it to happen) AND I set a struggling reader up to be successful with an impromptu book introduction. And the kid thinks I'm just trying to spend some time with them :)

The smallest change (if this is possible for you) has made the biggest difference for my kiddos. And, this is one of those routines every week that brings me sheer joy!

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