Adventures in Literacy Land: reading buddies

Showing posts with label reading buddies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading buddies. Show all posts

Silent Reading Partners

Reluctant readers versus avid readers.  We all have them.  We work hard to keep the avid readers excited and challenged.  We work hard to get the reluctant readers excited and challenged.

How do we do this?  In so may different ways.  Engaging lessons, book choice, celebrated successes, providing books of interest, book clubs...the list goes on.  And I know as teachers, we will never stop searching for those ways to excite, engage, and challenge.

To become better at anything in life, we need practice.  To become a better reader, students need to read.  And some of our reluctant readers don't read as often because they feel that they can't or that it is too hard.  They need to feel successful and there is something to be said about reading without any judgements being made. Silent reading partners can provide this.

This past week my daughters participated in a "Tail Waggin' Tutors" program at our local library.  The energy was at all-time high in our home before and after the event.  They each picked out a book to take with them and they read to two dogs each.  Bookmarks with a picture of the dogs were in each of their hands on the way out the door.

These silent reading partners provided both excitement and challenge to my readers.  For my youngest (kinder), she walked away with a book that she wanted to try to read to me--but would have told me prior that she could not read it.  For my oldest (firstie), she walked away eager to share her experience and tell about all the jokes she shared with the dogs.

The dogs listened.  No judgements made.

Don't get me wrong...students need to have the feedback that we provide them during guided reading groups or that parents provide when reading at home.  Students need the modeling of a choral read, echo read, or repeated reading.  Students need to hear strong, engaging read alouds.  They need to read books at their instructional and independent level.

But they also need to read because they just want to read-without judgement, without feedback-without agenda.  Just read to read.

This doesn't have to occur only through a great program that comes to the library or our schools.  Maybe it is a pet in the home or a baby sibling.  The opportunities for a silent reading buddy may already be present. 

At the beginning of the year, my teammate lined up all the reading buddies she had bought at garage sales over the summer.  Each student in our grade got to take home a buddy to read to each night.

Some students do not have a family member to read to, or a parent that is going to encourage read aloud time each night.  The hope is that this little silent reading partner can excite and challenge our reluctant and avid readers.

As spring begins to show its face and summer is on the horizon, I begin thinking about what I have done and what more I can do to ensure that my students keep reading.  Even when I am not there to listen.


Magic Tree House: The Website

Hi, this is Cathy from Cathy Collier's The W.I.S.E. Owl and I have done a few posts about the Magic Tree House books.  I LOVE the Magic Tree House.  Today, I'd like to talk to you about the Magic Tree House Website.

The Magic awaits!

I love this website!  It's fun.  Let me walk you through a few fun places to visit on the website!

First the top bar.


On the Games tab, you can do on Missions.  There are 5 books and a clue is read to the student.  If you get it wrong, you get to try again.  If you get it right, the Magic Tree House spins and takes you on an adventure.  There are 4 questions to highlight 4 different that give you "rewards" to complete Morgan's mission.  The questions are typed, but unfortunately, there is no "read aloud" button.  When all four questions are answered and the clues are collected, you have a game to complete the mission. The two games I completed were completing a puzzle and decoding the answer with "decoder" questions.  Very Cute.  There is an option to take notes in their journal for future reference.  

My Magic Tree House

Students are able to create and decorate their tree house.  They keep their rewards in the in their tree house.  They can also see other reader's tree houses.  

My Library and Passport

What a great section.  Students can read a sample of a book.  There are the first 2 chapters available for reading.  What a great way to preview the book before heading to the library.  They can also create a Wish List of books to read.  There is also a Passport to be stamped after completing the quizzes on each book.

Tree House Mail

This section was wonderful.  Students can read answers to questions from other readers, watch videos of Mary Pope Osborne (!), and send her an email.  OMG.  How many students would LOVE to hear Mary Pope Osborne talk to them!  It's a fun section.

About the Series and  On Stage!

These last to are informational and include information about the books, the author, the illustrator, and seeing the books on stage!

On the site...

Under the top a scroll bar with all her books.

On the right side of the website...there are extras.

Explore the Map

This is an interactive map.  Students can enlarge the map to see WHERE the books took place.

Fast Tracker Showdown

These quizzes are based on the Non-fiction Fast Tracker books.  They are ten questions.

Reading Buddies

This is a great way to encourage reading. This is a section to sign up your team and keep track of your reading hours. This is a great way for teachers to sign up classroom buddies or start a reading buddy tracker in their classroom.

For Teachers

The teacher section contains teacher guides and printable activities.  

For Parents

The parent section contains information about the series and how to support reading.

My only concern...or is it?

My only concern with this website is the lack of a "Read to Me" button.  Many of the areas on the website are read to them, but some are not.  My kindergartners loved being on the site, but this would often require a parent to be with them...or maybe that's ok?

My Rating

I'd give this website a 5/5.  Of course, this isn't technical.  AND I'm sure I'm biased because I love these books.