Saturday, September 8, 2012

Classroom Corner--Ideas for Making Independent Reading More Meaningful...

Hope you are having a great weekend!  College football is stressing my husband and sons out here at my house, so thought I would take a moment to share a few classroom ideas with you on this September Saturday. :-)

I learned when working on my Reading Endorsement that the average 6th grader reads less than 3 minutes a day.  This was staggering to me!  Now, as a teacher, I try to take every opportunity to encourage my students to read more and to love reading!

In my classroom I have a number of reading areas. Whether on couches, in chairs, or with pillows, I encourage my students to "settle in with a good book" and make the most of their daily reading opportunities.  Sadie poses here in my chapter book library, known as the "Chugga Chugga Chapter Book" area of the room.  You can see that I have my book tubs organized by genres on this bookshelf.

Tucker is shown reading here in one of my classroom Book Nooks-a small spot to stop and read when an opportunity arises.  This book is located beside our Clipboard Caboose.  (I have a train theme in my classroom which will explain some of the area names you see here.)

Tate has grabbed a pillow from my pillow bucket for his reading time.  This is a snapshot of where we keep our pillows in the "Pullman Car Pillows" section of our classroom.

One of my favorite additions to our DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) each day are our Reading with a Purpose bookmarks.  These are quick and easy ways for me to monitor student comprehension or understanding of our minilesson concepts.  I keep these bookmarks in a labeled can in the front of my room as shown here.  I simply copy a set for the week, cut them apart, and place them inside. 

Either during reading or at the conclusion of reading time, each student is asked to complete the question on the bookmark for the week.  For example, Tucker is writing about how the setting of the book he is reading reminds him of the setting of another book.  This follows our minilesson on the elements of story, with setting being one of these elements.

He wrote, "The setting of this story reminds me of the setting of Hatchet.  This book is about trees in a forest.  Hatchet is about a boy who crashes in a plane and lands in the woods."

Making reading more enjoyable and making reading more meaningful are just 2 of the techniques I use to help my students grow in their love for reading.  I would love to hear about some of the strategies you use in your own classroom.  Feel free to share in the comments section below.  Shannon :-)

PS--Interested in finding out more about my series of Reading with a Purpose bookmarks?  You can find them both on both TpT and Teachers Notebook at the addresses listed below. 

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 On TpT:

Volumes 1, 2, and 3 On TN:

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