The Love of Reading, where students are reading for pleasure, is a core value. It is paramount that students are offered the opportunity to read during the school day in reading environments that are both engaging and non-structured. This time during the school day cannot be compromised.
We find students Reading in the Moment where students fill every free moment with reading. They are rewarded when they are “caught reading”. Reading in spare time allows for a volume of reading. The amount of reading (volume) is as important as the type or topic of the reading. Students reading on “their own time” is a vital process to growing as a reader. Book talks allow students to share “the fun” of their personal reading experiences.
Self Directed, Independent Reading
Self Directed, Independent Reading is a core value which offers purposeful reading during classtime. Right fit books, books that a student can read independently because of his ability and interest, provide differentiated and individualized instruction. Students take possession of their learning when they are provided with a variety of learning activities and texts at differentiated reading levels. Practices such as whisper reading, “the Daily 5”, word study and reading centers with literacy assistants promote reading to learn by intentionally providing rich opportunities for self-directed literacy acquisition.
Promoting Books is a core value, and it is important to provide students a variety of reading experiences. Book promotions, talks and even a Book Cart help give students a wide variety of choices in what they read. Students are more motivated to read when they get to choose their books. The volume of reading increases directly in proportion to the personal selection of the books read by the student. The school must provide these opportunities to choose books as many students do not have the opportunity outside the school environment. Teachers with a variety of book choices in classroom libraries provide an additional resource for students.
A Variety of Assessment Methods and Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
A Variety of Assessment Methods is a core value that provides teachers with insight on student reading skills. Reliance on reading assessments that narrow or restrict a student’s reading are counterproductive. Reading assessment should not be punitive or negatively influence the joy of reading. It is not detrimental for students to read books below their independent reading level if they have true interest and engagement with the text. Assessment can include book discussions, group book talks, book reports, character portrayals, book buddy activities, reading conferences and reading reflections.
Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening are all essential elements of literacy instruction. Students should be offered daily opportunities to read independently and with guidance, explore their thinking through writing, talk with their peers and teacher about their thinking and understanding, and listen to their teachers and classmates share their impressions and conclusions about what has been read.
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