Reading: Picking Up Steam

Morning Reading Time

Morning Reading Time:

Walk into our classroom most mornings, and you’ll find the students doing this. They’re immersed in their chapter books, ranging from the silly to the serious. The room is quiet and engaged. Peaceful.

Most of the students love reading, and they have time to read at school. Giving students time to read is important. Their lives are filled with visual stimuli all day long, at home, on the computer, the TV. Sometimes, just taking in words slowly is what they need. According to Fountas and Pinnell, a leading reading research organization, those who read more, and with more purpose and satisfaction, succeed more all the way around.

Students in 5B have read fantasy, mystery, comedy, realistic fiction, science fiction, and Sakura Medal books. These are books of their own choosing.

To encourage them, we are recording the student’s books. Their goal (set by them) was to read at least 3 books of over 150 pages by ski break or February 13th. For every 3 books, they’re writing a review on our collaborative book site: The Amazing Book Tree.  The site is a great place to find new books to read as it’s all written by students. There’s are two classes in Japan and one in Germany, so far, contributing to the site.

More than 1/2 of the class have already made their goal. Some have read 3 books already. One student has read 16 books. Here are some titles: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (very popular), Music of Dolphins, The Wolf in the Wardrobe, Floors, Candy Floss, Dragon Keeper, How to Train your Dragon, First Day of School Forever, Scat, The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, Middle School: The Worst Years, Northwood, the Aviary, The Dead House…and the list goes on.

We have another week + of our reading challenge, but we’ll continue after that. And of course, students will still engage in literature circles and our read aloud special times. We are on our 3rd read aloud book and nearing the exciting finish.

Frequent, voluminous reading is the single activity that consistently correlates with high levels of performance…Nancy Atwell, The Reading Zone


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