5 Reasons to Text in their Hands...EVERYDAY!

5 Reasons to Text in their Hands...EVERYDAY!

Teachers know text is the key.  

Teachers are quick to incorporate Read Alouds, both fiction and non-fiction, into lessons for reading skills, math, science and social studies.  We practice words, but we have to make sure we are practicing words in text. Here are 5 reasons.


If you want a child to be better at piano, you make them practice.  If you want a child to be better at soccer, you make them practice.  If you want to child to be better at dance, you make them practice.  If you want a child to be better at reading, you make them practice.  You would not give them a piece to play on the piano ONCE.  You would not have them kick a soccer ball ONCE.  WHY would you expect a student to become a successful reader with one glance at a book.  Students need to have the books from small group at their disposal to develop comprehension, fluency and expression.  They need practice every day...with new books every day!  I provided each student with a gallon-sized Ziploc(R) bag.  Each day they get give me the oldest book in their bag and they get a new book.  There are always 5 books in their bags.  They need LOTS and LOTS of exposure to text on their level!  Practice makes permanent.

Practice with Known or Familiar Words

Word wall words or sight words CANNOT be learned in isolation.  Well, they can be…but, why would you?  When students are just beginning to connect letters to sounds and sounds to words every connection made clear makes an impact on their learning.  Typically a word or two is repeated in predictable text can not only provide further practice with fluency, students are practicing sight words on every page.  As they become more and more familiar with these books the sight words become easily recognized and 


Responsibility is another key skill for early learners.  Giving them the responsibility of their book baggie allows them to have a part in their learning.  They need to bring the book baggie to the small group table.  They need to make sure their book baggie is put in the proper place.  They need to make sure their books are kept in the baggie.  


Independence is one of the most important skills students can acquire through books.  After a small group lesson students keep the book in their book baggie (a Ziploc® bag with their name).  These bags are kept in a specific place in the room.  When students are finished with their work, they can get their book baggie and sit in the classroom library to read.  They know how, when, and where to read their books and it’s up to them to do it.  


Finally, putting books in the hands EVERYDAY creates a routine of reading.  When the routine is created a love of reading can grow.  Students who know they will read every day and they will be successful every day.  Success feels good…so reading will feel good, too. AND THEN...love will grow!

Give them the books.  Don't be afraid!  It will make all the difference!


  1. I could not agree with you more. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. Every student, at every level of our RTI groups takes home books that they worked on during RTI. We introduce a new book every day. The older books from earlier in the week are called "Old Friends". On Thursday, the children have 4 books in their baggie to take home and read to their family. On Mondays they empty their bag and we start over again. I often hear children say that they know how to read a new word because it was in an "Old Friend", or song we learned. Many of the phonics rules that I teach come right out of the Rigby books we use. It's wonderful. All of the children feel like readers and we see so much progress every year.

    1. I'm glad you agree. In my opinion, it makes all the difference.

  2. You are sister from another mother I think! Lol!! Completely agree, and if teachers worry about getting them back, check yard sales or ask parents to donate books when kids are beyond that level. Kids need room on their bookshelves for what they're reading now and maybe some keepsakes. (Unless the mom is a reading teacher! 😋

    1. Absolutely! The books are not the most important thing...reading is!