Q: How to become better at reading?
A: Practice! Strive for 20 minutes nightly and 20 minutes in school:)
Independent reading is the foundation for creating successful, life-long readers. IR provides children time to practice strategies learned via teacher modeling during Reader's Workshop. Children need chunks of time to read their books and practice strategies learned. I will strive to motivate our Ledgeview readers through four key elements of Independent reading within our Reader's Workshop time daily:
1.) Choice: Students will be reminded how to select "just right" titles. Students need this skill since self-selection of text allows the student to read what they want to read at their level. Our class library offers all student levels while offering many topics/genres. Also, students will have the opportunity to respond to their reading in numerous ways by choosing from an IR Choice Board that we will model and use early in the year and quite often throughout the year. The IR Choice Board allows students choice - connections, happy/sad parts, identifying problems/solutions, character traits, identifying and supporting themes, etc.
2.) Explicit Reading Strategies: There are numerous reading strategies that we will review and continue to practice throughout our time in fifth grade. We will practice word attack strategies - what to do when we run into words we are unfamiliar with. Also, we will practice comprehension strategies by thinking about what we are reading about. I will be working with your children on vocabulary by holding them accountable to identify and learn unfamiliar words.
We "track our thinking" by asking questions; visualizing, making inferences, synthesizing information while reading, determining importance, clarifying ideas/unknown words; making predictions, and making connections.
3.) Time: Just like our children practice at hockey, soccer, instruments, dance, etc. - our children need practice in reading. Children need chunks of time to read their books and practice strategies learned. Independent Reading allows for this reading practice! There will be time offered during daily during school for independent reading. However, their independent reading should occur nightly as well for reinforcement and growth.
4.) Goals: Since providing chunks of IR time, I will be able to hold small reading sessions and individual reading conferences. During these conferences, I will listen to children read and monitor how they apply strategies learned. My feedback and their goals set for next response will be placed into their Reader's Notebook.
In addition to the four elements of Independent Reading, the children will be asked to write a letter to me once a week about their reading. These Independent Reading Log Letters will be situated in their Reading Notebook
**Expectations for writing: Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Therefore, expect writing assignments weekly and daily in class.
September and October will be spent reviewing/applying reading strategies and setting up our Reader's Workshop time and Writer's Workshop time.
Happy Reading and Writing!:)