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Teaching Tips: Creating an environment that will help nurture reading enjoyment

Michele Dufresne

Create an environment within Common Core that will help nurture reading enjoyment

I recently picked up a good book that I could not put down. I enjoyed it so much that I read it even though I had a million other things to do. Now that I've finished the book, I'm looking forward to discussing it with my book group.

I would like every child to experience this kind of deep connection with her reading.

The new Common Core State Standards are rich and broad. They provide an excellent scaffold of support for quality instruction, including excellent suggestions of ways to include a wide range of genres in students' reading repertoire. But the Standards in and of themselves are not enough. We must create an environment where children can talk about what they've read and share their ideas about the text with other children and adults. In that setting, standards will be met that much more easily because the child will be engaged with the book and will want to go deeper.

To create this environment, each student will need:
• a book that she can read (it shouldn't be too difficult or too easy)
• a book with a topic that is interesting and engaging to the student
• someone to talk to about that book (not just follow-up questions to be answered)

As teachers, we must continue to refine our skills at teaching reading. We need to carefully select the best materials, use assessments that give us information into a child's processing, and provide thoughtful instruction based on specific needs of each child. And then we need to provide a setting where children can talk about what they read with others. In the end, it is amazing how many of the standards will be met when students have an opportunity to read a book they enjoy and talk to each other and you about that book.

Happy reading to you all!

Michèle Dufresne is author of many Pioneer Valley Books  early readers (including the Bella and Rosie series), Word Solvers (Heinemann), and an early literacy and literacy intervention consultant.

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