Setting Up a Reading Routine
This month, I have been sharing tips for getting a successful start to your school year. My first tip focused on getting assessments done early so you can get going on reading instruction. As the month progressed, I shared a tip centered around making learning easy for your students and another on partner reading. This week, I am sharing suggestions to set up a reading routine.
It is important for students to develop a habit of reading at home, but it is hard to find good books that support beginning readers at the local library or bookstore. I recommend sending a few books home every night for students to read. The biggest concern is always that they may lose their books. Set up a good routine and fewer books will get lost.
1. Have the students select one to three books from their book box. The books they select should be ones they can read.
2. Give the students a sturdy bag for their books. You can use Ziploc bags but I find the more attractive and durable the bag is, the more likely it will not get lost or damaged.
3. Set a time for selecting the books and getting the bag into students’ backpacks. This step is crucial for the students who most need to read, or the ones most likely to leave their book bags at school.
4. Tell students their book bags should always stay in their backpacks unless they are reading the books. When they finish reading the books, the book bags should go back in their backpacks.
5. Get the students’ parents involved by giving them a book log to sign. Make it simple. Include title, initials of who listened, and a space for a comment if the parents want to make one. (link to one of our logs here)
Good readers read a lot. Poor readers read very little. Help each student become a better reader by increasing the amount of time they read each day!
In October, I will be sharing four tips that are geared towards expanding each students' pool of words.
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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