As teachers, we not only want our students to LEARN to read, but we also want them to LOVE to read! I created some resources for the beginning of the year to help you all do just that: instill a love for reading in the hearts of your young readers!
Reading Starts at Home
One of the most common questions I get asked as a teacher from parents is, “What can I be doing at home to help my child?” I believe that many parents want to help their children, but they aren’t sure what to do or not do!
I made this brochure to send home to families at the beginning of the year. It gives parents tips on how to help their child choose a just right book, a list of reading strategies to use, great questions to ask while reading, and a few valuable websites to check out! This brochure comes in color and in black/white. For the black/white option, just print it on brightly colored cardstock. I know parents will GREATLY appreciate these tips!
Reading Expert Roy Story
If you’ve read my blog for awhile or purchased any other packets from me, you’ve probably figured out that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE using fictional characters that I make up to help teach a skill. This brings us to the character in this packet: Reading Expert Roy! I created a story about Reading Expert Roy because many children have fears that reading is HARD and SCARY! Reading Expert Roy teaches children that reading is ALL AROUND and that it can be a whole lot of fun.
I suggest reading this story at the beginning of the year during one of the first few days of school. This little story will act as an excellent anchor to kick-off Daily 5/literacy centers in your classroom. It also ties in PERFECTLY with my Back to School Experts packs! After you’ve read the book to the class, laminate it and put it in your classroom library! I also provided a black/white MINI version of this book for you to print and collate.
Ready or Not? Activity #1
Use the following scenarios to help you when you’re introducing independent and partner reading in your classroom. These scenarios will help your students better understand what a reading expert should look, feel, and sound like, and will help them understand what behavior expectations you have.
Complete as a whole group. Place the “Ready to Be a Reading Expert” title on one side of your pocket chart/white board and the “Not Yet” title on the other side. Read aloud each scenario to your class. Then, have them turn and talk about whether or not they think each kid is ready to be a reading expert or not. Spend ample time discussing why or why not. Hang these cards up all year long. Have a student who needs a few reminders? Direct him/her to this chart!
Then, choose students to act out each situation. They will LOVE this. Spend a good amount of time discussing what the kids who were placed on the “Not Yet” side could do differently. Have the same students who modeled the “Not Yet” behavior then show the appropriate behavior. This correlates PERFECTLY with the Daily 5 program!
Is It Just Right Activity #2
To help your students understand the importance of choosing a “just right” book even further, I made up this fun activity! I suggest completing this activity as a whole group. For this activity, place the words, “IT IS JUST RIGHT!” to one side of your whiteboard/pocket chart and “NO WAY.” to the other side. Then, read each card aloud to your students and have them turn and talk about whether the kid on the card picked a just right book or not. Spend a good chunk of time discussing. Then, choose a student to come up and paste the card to the correct side.
Reading Expert Response Journal
After reading the story about Reading Expert Roy, present your students with a handy dandy Reading Expert Journal. Tell them that they are going to place all of their “reading expert research” inside.
The sheets included in this packet were made specifically for the beginning of the year to help you kick off reading in your classroom. However, your students can continue to use their “Reading Expert Journals” throughout the year by having them place any other important organizers in it or having them use it to complete reading response entries.
These are a few of the other sheets for the journal:
A FUN TIP TO ENCOURAGE READING: As you already know, kids LOVE seeing themselves on camera! Last year I tried to use this to my advantage to help my students understand what a good reader looks and sounds like. At the beginning of the year, I began taking videos of the class during “Read to Self” time and then would play it back for the class to see. They truly became their OWN models of good reading! Reading experts? You bet!
Here’s a SHORT little video of my class reading to self. This was taken at VERY beginning of the school year. Just click on the video below to watch.