The More you Read . . .

the better reader you become. The better reader you become, the more you read!


It just makes sense that to become a better reader you have to read.  I used to tell my students that pro basketball, baseball or football players got there by practicing!  They dribbled, batted, passed, ran, jumped and practiced shooting the ball into the hoop for hours and hours in order to become the best player they could be.  To be a better reader, writer or mathematician is the very same, you have to practice. (Click on the image to download the free sign.)
 The More You Read poster


I found this chart on Mrs. London's Free Resources that very clearly shows how reading more often leads to increased test scores.


I know the school day is very busy, but you should try to squeeze in as much time as possible for students to read.  In my classroom, if students had any extra time they were to get out a book to read. There weren't any other little time filler activities, they just got out their book and read.

Here are some tips for getting your students to read more:

1.  Make sure they have access to books at their level.  Set up your classroom library so they can easily find good-fit books.  Teach them how to find those books.  You can show them the 5 finger test. Choose a page from the middle of the book, read it.  Count one finger for each word not known or not able to read.  If you get to five fingers then this book may not be a good fit.
2.   Make finding a good-fit book part of your morning routine.  Each student should have 2 or 3 books at their desk, ready to read.  I liked giving my students a Book Baggie.  They kept at least 3 books in it at all times.  When one book was finished it was taken out and another was put in.  This Book Baggie went home every night and was returned the next morning.


3.  Make reading the one and only choice of what to do when an assignment is finished.
4.  Schedule a relax and read time after recess or lunch.  Kids can get their water bottle and find a place around the room to relax and enjoy their book.  In order to maximize the time, set a timer.  When the timer goes off, if everyone is in their spot and reading, the class earns a point toward a Friday reward.
5.  Connect independent reading to your reading lessons.  One way to help connect your reading lessons to the independent or read-to-self time is to use Thinkmarks.  Thinkmarks are small bookmarks students keep in their book to remind them of a recent skill or strategy taught during a lesson.  The Thinkmark may even have a place for students to stop and jot down notes as they read.  
 Click on the image to download a free sample of the Thinkmarks from Crockett's Classroom.
 Reading Thinkmarks ---free sample.  Great way to hold kids accountable and have them show their thinking as they read.


0


your photo name

Keeping it Positive

"Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words can never hurt me."

Of course you’ve heard this saying and may have even used it to try and comfort a child who  just had unkind words hurled at them.  But I say it’s untrue.  Words do hurt.  Even as adults, we’ve heard things that hurt and sting for a long time. To a child even the smallest insult can have a larger impact.

During the first week of school. teachers spend a lot of time teaching procedures.  They also explain the behavior expectations and the classroom management system for the year. One activity you should add to your first week is this simple activity that shows the lasting effect of unkind words and actions.
1.      Begin by asking the kids what unkind words they've heard other kids say.  Write these words on some of the Sticks 'n' Stones slips. You'll need them later on in the activity.
2.    Now give each student a piece of paper with a blank human figure on it.  Ask them student to color the figure to look like themselves. As you wonder around the room make lots of positive comments about their work.  You want the students to be super proud of their figures. After they finish coloring the figures, students should cut out the figures and write their name on the back.


3.    Have students sit in a circle with their finished figure, a pencil and crayons. Tell students to pass the cutouts to the person on their right.  Read one of the Sticks 'n' Stones cards and tell students that those words hurt. Ask the student holding the figure they received to make a tiny tear in one of the legs.  Make sure it’s small.  (You might hear a few gasps when they see their figure being torn.)
4.    Pass the figures to the right again and read another Sticks 'n' Stones card.  This time ask students to use a crayon and draw a dark zig-zag line across the center of the body. (make sure the color they use shows up on the figure.)  
5.    Pass the figures again and read a Sticks 'n' Stones card. This time have them draw an X on the face with their pencil.
 6.   You can continue passing the figures as many times as you want, reading the Sticks 'n' Stones cards and adding other tears and marks to the figures.  I usually had the students do 5 or 6 things.
7.    On the final rotation read a Sticks 'n' Stones card and have students crumple the figures into a small ball. Collect the crumpled figures.
8.  Students now return to their desks as you gently uncrumple the figures and give them back to the owners.  When the students have their own figure they can try to repair themselves by flattening, smoothing, erasing, or taping.  They'll notice that no matter how much they flatten, smooth, erase or tape their figure the damage can still be seen. 

Now is when you can talk about the effects of unkind words and hurt feelings.  Once words are heard or read, some part of them remain in our memories and continue to hurt. The figures will make a great display about using kind words.

 Sticks and Stones,  words really do hurt. This activity will show your students the damage even the smallest words can do to someone else.

Click on this graphic to download printable for this activity and to receive a free sample of my Positive Behavior Tool Box (SPARKLE).
1


your photo name
Back to Top