Saturday, 14 April 2007
Maximizing Reading Time in the Classroom
This week I finally took back my authority to make the best reading decisions for my students in my classroom. Throughout the year I have felt controlled by my new basal program. According to Dorothy Strickland, we read for three purposes: enjoyment, to complete a task or to get information. If these are the three reasons we read wouldn't it make sense to teach children to read for these purposes? This week, I brought reading for enjoyment back to the forefront in my classroom. Starting each day with reading for enjoyment sets such a positive tone for learning. Each student is reading at his own level. Each student is choosing text that motivates her to read. All week I noticed the children seemed to have more time spent reading. I am also asking the children to do some time of short reflection after reading. I will be looking at these weekly to check for comprehension. Each day I am keeping track of what the kids are reading by having a very quick conversation at the beginning of reading time. We also talk about rereading what they wrote the previous day or reread the end section that they read the previous day to get them back into the text. There are days the children choose to break from a chapter book and read something new. The most exciting new kind of reading taking place this week was on the Owen and Mzee blog from Kenya. After previewing this blog and discovering how the enlarge the text on the internet, six children were able to read about the recent observations scientists have made at this wild life sanctuary in Kenya.