We believe that independent reading is a critical part of children's learning and growth. With support from teachers, parents, and schools, children choose the books they want to read and discover the pleasure and power of reading. Finding the right book at the right time can light an emotional spark within children that motivates them to read more, understand more, and read joyfully.
By reading for just 10 minutes a day, children will be setting themselves up for success in the future! Reading confidence will increase through improved comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, concentration, analytical abilities, empathy, mindfulness and more. Plus, with each page they read, they get to lose themselves in exciting new worlds, hilarious mishaps, different time periods and daring adventures.
"Readers are made, not born. Few students spring out of the ground fully formed as readers. They need help, and we cannot assume that they will get it from home, but they should always get it from us, their teachers."
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
We all know that reading outcomes improve when students do more reading, and they’re more likely to read more in their downtime if they enjoy it. Reading challenges keep reading fun by promoting achievement without the added stress of being marked at the end.
Have your class take on the 10-4-10 Reading Challenge and read for 10 minutes a day for 10 weeks. As a class, you will already be reading 10 minutes a day whether it be during D.E.A.R, instructional text or shared reading. By taking on the reading challenge your students will see how easily they can fit 10 minutes of reading into their day.
Chart your classes' success on the FREE classroom Reading Challenge poster included with Issue 5 Teacher Essentials. Colour a book for each day the class reads for 10 minutes.
Didn't get the poster? Download a copy here.
"Children read more when they see other people reading."
As a teacher, you can set a powerful example when it comes to reading for fun. Take a few moments each week to talk to your students about what you’re reading in your free time and why. Create a list on your classroom wall of all the books you’ve read so far this year.
When it comes to D.E.A.R time, get out your own book, so your students can see you reading. Carry a book with you everywhere. When packing for trips or running errands, throw books and magazines into the suitcase or back seat. The number one way adult readers rack up reading time is stealing short reading breaks in between other obligations. Carrying a book with you shows children how to steal this reading time.
As a teacher, you’ll probably already know that Graphic Novels are all the rage. Graphic Novels powerfully attract and motivate kids to read—and they’re enjoying them! We believe this incredibly rich format can be used in a wider context to bring life and excitement to your classroom, with the benefit of developing literacy. School librarians and educators have reported outstanding success getting all kids to read with Graphic Novels.
Graphic novels can:
"More access to books results in more reading."
Krashen cited in Boushey and Behne, 2020
Developing a classroom library filled with high-interest books allows students easy access to choose their own books and engage with texts that reflect their interests. These libraries have the potential to increase student motivation, engagement and achievement, and encourage them to become informed critical thinkers and analytical readers.
Help children find books that they will enjoy, such as books on topics that interest them, different book series, books by a favourite author, and so on.
Encourage children to explore a variety of types of text, such as nonfiction books, fiction books, magazines, newspapers and poetry. School librarians can be valuable resources for information about books on different topics and about various book series. For students who are struggling to maintain reading momentum and motivation, promote a series where they will develop confidence with each subsequent book because they build background knowledge as they go.
Discover more on how to create a Classroom Library.
"Students should be encouraged to take responsibility for their reading and to make choices about their reading preferences and behaviours. Finally, students should be encouraged to read together and then talk together about their literary experiences."
‘Reading and Talking Books: A Critical Foundation for Intervention’ Wozniak, Voices from the Middle, 2011
In a time-poor classroom, it is difficult to find time to share about reading. Giving students the opportunity to talk about books and share them with their classmates brings real joy to reading.
Allow students to share what they are reading and get the conversation started on what to read next by creating a "What We're Reading" wall. Hang a sheet of cardboard to the wall. Have students write the title and author of the book they’re currently reading on a sticky note. As they finish each book, ask them to rate it and if they recommend it to their classmates. Spend time each month discussing the highest rated book.
Research shows that students who are given exposure to books daily by someone who loves books will develop the desire to learn to read. This intrinsic motivation can do more to help a child learn to read than all the worksheets in the world. Read alouds not only allow teachers to model that reading is a great way to spend time but also expose students to more complex vocabulary than they typically hear or read. Then as children get older and can read independently, reading out loud encourages them to enjoy the magic of a great story. Sharing a book as a whole class for 10 minutes every day can be a great way to build excitement about reading and encourage discussion.
When you make time for a read-aloud every day, you also make time for:
So, when you do your best to find time to read aloud every day, you're doing much more than "just" reading to your students.