Adventures in Literacy Land: reading engagement

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

Teaching Reading in Small Groups - ch. 3 Engagement

Getting students engaged in books is the best way to create life-long readers. In chapter 3 of Teaching Reading in Small Groups, Jennifer Serravallo talks about different types of engagement conferences that work for students.
As teachers, we are very vocal about our love for reading. We are constantly sharing new books with our students, reading aloud, and loving the excitement that reading brings. Outside of school, we read for enjoyment and to grow professionally. We talk with others about what we are reading.
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Teaching Reading In Small Groups - Chapter 2: "Forming Groups: Making the Invisible Visible Through Assessment"

When I signed up for this summer book study, I immediately gravitated towards chapter 2! I have always struggled with small group reading instruction (hence, the book study participation) and one of my biggest struggles is HOW to get the kids into groups that make sense AND allow for the greatest amount of growth in all students. It seems like my reading groups tend to stay static for a loooong time and then abruptly change. Jennifer Serravallo has laid out some great ideas for how to create the best groups for your students and keep them flexible as their needs change.
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Engage Your Readers with Flashlight Fridays



Turn out the lights and turn on reading engagement with Flashlight Fridays!

Our literacy team took a new direction this year with our school-wide reading incentive program. We wanted to establish a literacy-rich environment where all students were given the opportunity to participate in literacy celebrations.

We did away with required nightly reading minutes, signed reading logs, and rewards given only to students who completed the reading challenge. Alternatively, we focused on creating opportunities for students to enjoy authentic reading, writing, and discussions.

We planned several school-wide activities throughout the year to promote literacy: graffiti walls, book swaps, mystery readers, and Flashlight Fridays.

For today's post, let's take a look at Flashlight Fridays.

Once each month we held a school-wide Flashlight Friday event where students were invited to bring their flashlights to school and use them to read their books during a "lights-out" read-to-self time.

A note was sent home to parents in advance to let them know when Flashlight Friday would be held. Students were asked to keep the flashlights tucked away in their backpacks until it was time to read.

Turn out the lights and turn on reading engagement with Flashlight Fridays!
Graphics: DJ Inkers, Font: Oh {Photo} Shoot

The flashlights students brought to school were as unique as the children. We saw everything from finger-flashlights to headlamps.  Student excitement was undeniable.

Children often doubled up to share flashlights with those who forgot. In addition, many teachers kept a few spares in their desk drawers.

We invited all the members of our school community to participate in the fun by bringing their own flashlights and joining a classroom to read.

Our December Flashlight Friday was my favorite.  Teachers plugged in Christmas lights and stretched them across the floors, and students read by holiday lights.
Turn out the lights and turn on reading engagement with Flashlight Fridays!

Have you held a Flashlight Friday?  How do you keep your students engaged in the task of reading? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.


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Engaging Readers with Graffiti Walls

Graffiti walls are an effective way to boost reading engagement in your classroom.

Our literacy team took a new direction this year with our school-wide reading incentive program. We wanted to establish a literacy-rich environment where all students were given the opportunity to participate in literacy celebrations.

We did away with required nightly reading minutes, signed reading logs, and rewards given only to students who completed the reading challenge. Instead, we focused on creating opportunities for students to enjoy authentic reading, writing, and discussions.

We planned several school-wide activities throughout the year to promote literacy: Flashlight Fridays, book swaps, mystery readers, and graffiti walls.

For today's post, let's take a look at our school-wide graffiti walls. We chose this activity based on an idea presented in Donalyn Miller's book, Reading in the Wild.

Here are the steps we took to implement our graffiti walls:

Step One: Prepare the Canvas 

Provide a space for students to write about their reading.  Simply hang a sheet of butcher paper on an open wall.

Graffiti walls are an effective way to boost reading engagement in your classroom.
A snapshot of a blank graffiti wall.

We hung paper throughout the building so that every grade level had a space for writing. We chose black paper and students used colored chalk and chalk markers to write. I would recommend the chalk markers, since they won't smear.

Step Two: Invite Participation

Encourage students to choose lines from a book that have special meaning to them. Students may want to quote something funny, highlight the big idea, or share an important lesson from their reading.  
Graffiti walls are an effective way to boost reading engagement in your classroom.
This graffiti wall is hanging in our fourth and fifth grade wing.

We wrote one quote on each wall as an example. In the upper grades, classroom teachers explained to students that they could share words or lines from books that were meaningful to them. In the younger grades teachers suggested that students write about a favorite character or part of the story.

Step Three: Revisit the Wall

Provide time to discuss the quotes and writing on the wall. 

Graffiti walls are an effective way to boost reading engagement in your classroom.
This student chose a quote that spoke to her about perseverance.

As quotes started to appear on the walls, we took time to recognize the contributions that were made. Students engaged in meaningful conversations and started choosing new books to read based on the graffiti wall discussions. 

Have you tried using graffiti walls? We would love to hear from you! Please share your comments below or post a picture of your graffiti wall on our Facebook page.  

Thanks for reading!






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