Are you looking for some fun new ways to encourage your students to read? We have some really good ideas from some really great teachers across the country. Take a look at how they keep their students motivated, on task and excited about reading.
Story Walks Keep Kids Focused Before Holiday Celebrations
“In the past, whenever a celebration day was upon us, the kindergarten teachers in my school struggled with what to do to keep kids on task until the festivities begin,” explains Dawn, a Kindergarten Teacher, from Lebanon, Missouri. “Finally, we generated a great solution.”
“We have two hallways of eight teachers each. Each teacher picks a storybook to read or a story to tell and we hold a “Story Walk.” Students move from room to room, stopping at each one to listen to a story or book keyed to that celebration’s theme. Our students hear eight stories in all. We hold our Story Walk in the morning and it takes about an hour. We do this for all the major holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc. We save our parties for the afternoons.”
“This idea can be adapted for an author or character’s birthday or for an author study. The kids really enjoy hearing the different books and often write about their favorites in their journals. Some of our teachers make packets for the kids to take home with the name of the books or stories and an activity page for each one. The teachers really enjoy it, too, because they get to share some of their favorite books and tales.”
Help Students Hit Home Runs with Reading Skills!
If baseball is not your thing, pick another sport for this great activity by Christine, a 5th Grade Teacher, from Franklin, Wisconsin. You can also tie it in with the upcoming World Series! “Now that baseball season has started, I have all the students in my class select and read a book with a baseball theme,” she says. “I help students divide their books into nine innings (total number of chapters or pages divided by nine) and each day in class they read one inning. At the start of each class, the students tell a partner or the rest of the class what the last inning of their book was about.”
Get Students Hooked On Literature
“Each day I read to my class for at least 15 minutes,” explains Chris, a 4th and 5th Grade Teacher, from St. Louis, Missouri. “I often choose literature written by one author, which usually leads my students to pick up other books by that author. In the last few weeks of school, my class reviews a list of all the books we have shared. It’s wonderful to listen to the children discuss authors and the stories and books we read throughout the year. We then take a vote of the top favorite books we have read. I then begin the next year by sharing these proven class favorites.”
The Handwriting is On the Wall with this Clever Reader Response Bulletin Board
“Each year, my “graffiti board” is a big hit with my students. It takes almost no effort at all to set up and maintain, yet it encourages students to read, write, and respond to a variety of thought-provoking questions,” says Tanya, a 4th Grade Teacher, from Burns, Tennessee.
“All I do is cover one bulletin board with butcher paper, post a question about books or reading, leave a box of markers on the bookcase, and sit back and wait for the responses to pour in. Kids enjoy writing on the board (as well as using markers and being creative with their lettering). When the display is filled (or when students seem to be done posting) I remove that paper and post a fresh page with a new question. The board encourages students to talk about what they’re reading, which in turn, encourages reading!”
What are some of your favorite reading tips and tricks? Share with us in the comments below or on the Really Good Teachers Forums! We’d love to know!