You want kids to read to self, but where do you begin? Building stamina and accountability are skills that can be taught on the first day of school.
#1 Determine Each Child’s Reading Level
The first thing you will need to do is review each students reading file from the prior year. Hopefully, you have a fantastic team of teachers in the grade before you (like I do at my school 😊) and they gave your students a good foundation from the start. Hop over to my blog Firstieland to grab this editable freebie that will help track beginning of the year reading levels.
#2 Book Boxes (or Bags)
Next, you’ll need individual book boxes or bags for each of your students. I personally like to use plastic boxes because they are sturdy and last forever. But if that isn’t in your budget or you don’t have space, a large gallon size ziplock bag works fine too. Label the boxes or bags with your students name or number (read more about why I give my students a number here) and now you are ready to fill them up!
#3 Choose “Just Right” Books For Your Students
Now it’s time to fill those book boxes. Give each student 4-6 books that are at their independent reading level. Choose books that are fun and engaging for them to read to self. Even though you don’t really know your students yet, you can find books that they will enjoy simply by filling their box with books that are the right level for them.
#4 Start Reading On The First Day Of School
Gather your students together at your carpet and talk about what Quiet Reading Time looks like. Make a T Chart together and write their ideas on the chart.
Pass out students book boxes (pre-filled by you with just right books) and let them choose a place to sit in your classroom. I like to let my students sit anywhere they want for quiet reading…..under tables, on the floor, bean bag chairs, classroom library. You name it, they sit all over the place. But there are 2 rules they must follow during Quiet Reading Time:
1. Sit by yourself. Do not sit by a friend that will distract you.
2. Read the whole time. This is not a time to look out the window, play or whisper to your friends.
Want to find out how we build our stamina and learn to read quietly for up to 30 minutes each day? Head on over to Firstieland to get more tips to help you get started!