Monday, January 25, 2016

All About That Stamina

My kiddos squeal with excitement when I tell them that it's time for independent reading. Is there any sound sweeter than that?! My district curriculum puts a huge focus on building reading stamina through independent reading. At this point in the school year, my babes are expected to independently read for 50 minutes! It seems like a lot, but I've got our independent reading time down to a science to keep it effective & efficient.

1. We keep a log of our reading

One of the most important items in my kiddos' independent reading folders are their reading logs. In the beginning of the year we practice & practice recording our reading in a log. It keeps us accountable and is fun to look back and see how much we've read over the year!

2. We set goals for ourselves

Every month, we set a new reading goal for ourselves. Sometimes they are personal goals (finish a series, read another book by a certain author, read more nonfiction, etc.) but often we make goals based on Daily 5 and CAFE. Students choose whether they want to work on comprehension, accuracy, fluency, or expanding vocabulary. This gives me a focus for when I confer individually with students.

3. We respond to what we read

My kiddos LOVE choosing a question to respond to from our Reader Response Menus. The menus have three levels of complexity for the question (organized into appetizers, entrees, & desserts) and I allow students the freedom to choose which question they want to respond to. Did they find evidence of character change? They'll choose that question. Just finish an awesome nonfiction article? They'll analyze the nonfiction text features used in the article. They know best which questions apply to their reading. This little bit of choice makes a huge difference in motivation!

This system makes it super easy to manage independent reading & build my kiddos' stamina! Want to try this out for yourself? CLICK HERE to see my Independent Reading/Read to Self pack with all of these resources!

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