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Thursday, December 5, 2013


 "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."

  --  Mark Twain

That quote is my reading philosophy in a nutshell. My biggest goal for our crew is that they develop a love for reading and have books and authors that they love. Of course, I want them to be proficient readers, too, but if they are proficient and never actually read then what is the point. If they learn to love reading, then they will put in the time and effort to become good at it. So while I will be teaching reading strategies, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, decoding and phonics, I will also be sharing lots and lots of great books with the crew to get them excited about reading.

How Do I Try to Do This?
1. We read books throughout the day for various subjects and reasons. If you go to our crew blog, you will see a bookshelf on the side of the page. This shelf is updated daily with every book that we read as a whole crew. You can scroll through the shelves to view books we read in the past by clicking on the previous or next buttons at the bottom of the shelf.


2. We have lots of books available in our room all the time.

3. I bring in collections of books from the library to share with the crew. For example, right now I have a large collection of Splat the Cat books and Scaredy Squirrel books. I will soon be replacing these with books by the Australian author, Mem Fox and books about China. Ask your child to tell you about Splat the Cat or Scaredy Squirrel.

4. I talk about books with excitement and share my love of books with them.

5. I have them share their favorites with each other.

6. We learn that it is good to talk to our friends about books - that is how we learn about great new books to try.

7. We fill any spare moments with books and reading.

8. We start our day with reading. As the students come in they sit on the carpet and browse the bins that have our current collections from the library in them.

9. We post pictures of our favorite book characters on the wall and we have some stuffed animals of some of our favorite book characters.

10. We laugh out loud and join in with the reading of repeated parts of a books. This makes it more fun.

11. We read books and we also enjoy books on the computer or on our iPads. Tumblebooks is a favorite book reading site. It is on the Resources page of our crew blog. We have a subscription to it through the district and public library. You can access it from home, too. You will just need to enter your library card number and pin number (usually the last 4 digits of your phone number unless you have changed it). Another great source of books is our class Storia account through Scholastic books. We do enjoy reading in a variety of forms.

How Can You Help at Home?
1. Read to your child every day. Yes, even after they can read for themselves. Here is a link to a great article about a dad who read to his daughter every day until she went off to college:
Father-Daughter Reading Streak Lasts Nearly 9 Years

2. Share what you are reading with your child - books, magazines, cookbooks, instruction manuals, blogs, websites, street signs, newspapers, news sites online, etc.

3. Use different voices for different characters to make reading aloud more fun.

4. Have your child read to you.

5. Go to the public library - often.

6. Visit bookstores.

7. Have piles of books all around your home.

8. Enjoy the time you spend reading with your child.

9. Check out this link: Guerrilla Tactics to Get Your Child to Love Reading 

10. Check out this link: Read Kiddo Read

11. Check out this link: The Home and School Connection: Eight Ways to Foster Wild (Lifelong) Reading Habits 

12. Looking for some great new books: The 2013 Nerdy Book Award Nominees

In the future I will write posts about fluency, comprehension, decoding, vocabulary and more but, for now, I want to try to make sure that our crew loves books and reading. Then they will be motivated to read those books that they love so much.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 4.9 My Timeline

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to see that you feel it is as important to develop a love of reading, no less than the ability to read, in the crew. I have always been a voracious reader, and passed my love of books on to Samuel's mom and her sister, and am delighted that Samuel, his sister, and their cousin are heading the same way.

    When Samuel's sister was about 3, she asked me, "Grandma, who is your favorite princess?"
    This was not something I had ever thought about, but the answer came to me immediately. "Belle," I replied. She looked at me, as though she had expected Cinderella, or maybe Ariel or Snow White.
    "You know why Belle is my favorite?" I asked.
    She shook her head no.
    "Because Belle loves to read, and so do I."