Adventures in Literacy Land: Love of Reading

Showing posts with label Love of Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love of Reading. Show all posts

Make Reading Fun!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Can we all agree that students who are motivated and engaged will become better readers?  If we want students to be motivated, we must be too!  If we want students to be engaged in activities linked to reading, we must be too!  I hope that this post renews your love for literacy and puts a little pep in your step!  Happy Fall Ya'll!!!
Can we all agree that students who are motivated and engaged will become better readers?  If we want students to be motivated, we must be too!  If we want students to be engaged in activities linked to reading, we must be too!  I hope that this post renews your love for literacy and puts a little pep in your step!  Happy Fall Ya'll!!!

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Is Your Classroom Your Happy Place?

Hello everyone!
 This is Laura from  Where the Magic Happens Teaching Blog.  Can you believe that I started school this week? Second grade is surely very different from 1st grade.
I spent the summer reading and learning the new set of standards, creating new materials, and visualizing what my new classroom was going to look like. I love the feeling of an empty classroom, the idea of a new beginning, and the potential and possibilities. More than anything, I kept on thinking (it was more like day dreaming), about a productive, brain friendly, and homey classroom.




It really starts with my classroom library. I have spent years (and tons of money and time) collecting the right books to reach ALL of my readers year after year. I truly believe that the concepts of classroom community and individuality begin with literature.  It is my  first goal, to show and provide my students with the opportunity to explore their own reading interests free from any constraints. 

Or like my little G would say: "for the fun of it!"

I try to build momentum by not opening the complete library to my students on the first week of school.  Instead, I open it gradually:
First the themes
Then the series
After this the nonfiction section
and so on...
 Since we have such a large classroom library, our books are displayed all over the room in colorful tubs that I got from the Target dollar spot!









Having an organized and quality classroom library makes me think that if nothing else, I am attempting  to create the right conditions for reading by my students.

Think about it! A strong classroom library:

  • Supports your literacy instruction in and out of your classroom.
  • Helps your students to learn about books and author's craft.
  • It also provides a central location for classroom resources... hello shared research!!
  • Serves as a place for students to talk about and interact with books
And you might think...
But how does she come up with the money to buy the books?
Well, let me just tell you: Scholastic points, yard sales, and The Goodwill are my friends! Last weekend for example, my local Goodwill had really great books for .50 a piece! It takes creativity and energy!!

Because my classroom is also really small this year, I had to become really creative too on finding a comfortable reading spot:




Two beach chairs, a lamp from the Goodwill, a cute rug from Walmart, some wooden letters and Voila! There you go!

Now, this is something to be really jelly about:
My school librarian is so fabulous and awesome. As this is my first year in 2nd grade, she has given me tons of suggestions about transitioning my students from easier picture books to  a bit-more-challenging chapter books.
One of the greatest suggestions that she gave me is to  do a classroom library scavenger hunt. This, in order to teach my students to identify different series, authors, themes, and topics.
Oh! And also to help my students keep books and display materials orderly!

So I do different types of  scavenger hunts:






Click HERE to download!





Click HERE to download!





Click HERE to download!






Click HERE to download!

Or all of them!



I give the students one bookmark and they explore the classroom library, once they find a book that matches one item on their bookmark, they bring me the book and they get a punch! These bookmarks match my classroom library book bin labels.



What is my goal with this?
I, more than anything, want to get my students motivated to read... and to read for fun. Throughout the year, I want to introduce them to authors, great series, themes, etc. Instead of giving them or leading them to a leveled book, I want them to be able to freely express about their  reading choices and pursue them.

They each will have their own book box. With the book boxes there are a couple of whole group lessons that need to be addressed:

  • Differences between picture books and chapter books
  • Choosing "just right" books (blog post and anchor chart on this coming up next week)
  • Keeping a balance in your book box
  • How to return books
  • Giving book recommendations








I would love to hear and learn from all of you! How do you organize your classroom library? What routines and mini-lessons do you teach to help your students be successful? What things do you do to foster reading motivation??

I can honestly say that there are many happy places for me: my mom's house, my boys' arms, the beach, the mountains, my own classroom!

Until next time!








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5 Reasons to Put a Book in their Hands...EVERYDAY!

Teachers know books are the key.  

Teachers are quick to incorporate Read Alouds, both fiction and non-fiction, into lessons for reading skills, math, science and social studies.  Teachers provide students with books in guided reading small group sessions…and then they take it back.  WHAT?

...STOP…WHAT?  


Yep, they take it back.  "What if they lose a book?"  "What if they get mixed up with someone else's books?"  It is unbelievable to me, but ONE exposure to a book cannot be considered valuable or “best practice.”

Here are 5 reasons they NEED the books at their disposal EVERY DAY.

A new book EVERYDAY...no matter what?  Emergent readers need lots of practice with text.  Giving them a new book to add to their book bag every day lets them Practice, Build Word Wall Word Knowledge, Create Responsibility, Foster Independence, and Ensure a LOVE of reading.  What more could we ask for?

Practice.  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.
A new book EVERYDAY...no matter what?  Emergent readers need lots of practice with text.  Giving them a new book to add to their book bag every day lets them Practice, Build Word Wall Word Knowledge, Create Responsibility, Foster Independence, and Ensure a LOVE of reading.  What more could we ask for?
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.  Early readers, levels A – C, are sight word heavy.  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 ingrained.

A new book EVERYDAY...no matter what?  Emergent readers need lots of practice with text.  Giving them a new book to add to their book bag every day lets them Practice, Build Word Wall Word Knowledge, Create Responsibility, Foster Independence, and Ensure a LOVE of reading.  What more could we ask for?
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.  
A new book EVERYDAY...no matter what?  Emergent readers need lots of practice with text.  Giving them a new book to add to their book bag every day lets them Practice, Build Word Wall Word Knowledge, Create Responsibility, Foster Independence, and Ensure a LOVE of reading.  What more could we ask for?
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.  
A new book EVERYDAY...no matter what?  Emergent readers need lots of practice with text.  Giving them a new book to add to their book bag every day lets them Practice, Build Word Wall Word Knowledge, Create Responsibility, Foster Independence, and Ensure a LOVE of reading.  What more could we ask for?
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!








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