Thursday, October 13, 2011

Build Reading Stamina

Hello Readers,

I've been talking with lots of teachers lately about building reading stamina in the reading workshop.  We have been thinking about ways to help kids enjoy their books and read for long chunks of time.  We know how to show kids how long they read each day by building a tower of cubes to represent how many minutes we read and we know we can make a bar graph so kids can see their reading stamina growing across time.  In addition, we are using a few tools that I thought would be helpful to share.

We are creating welcoming and comfortable reading spaces in our libraries so kids can shop for plenty of books.  Two pictures are shown below.  One is for a series section in a library and the other is a leveled book section.

Next, we have been thinking lots about reading goals with kids.  Emily has this chart hanging in her room to help her chapter book readers set goals for themselves and their reading for the week.  This could be helpful for second and third graders who are getting into longer texts.
Setting goals and monitoring progress toward those goals with a reading log is crucial to maintaining stamina.   We can confer with the logs and notice if kids stick with a book, how long it takes them to read a book, and their preferences for certain genres and authors (and their understanding of each genre).  It also helps us see how long they have been reading at a given level and if they struggle to maintain stamina when they move on to the next level. I like kids to keep all of their reading logs for an entire year in a folder so we can reflect together about the kind of reader the child has grown to be throughout the school year.  A sample of one of these logs is seen here.


I think a chart to help kids build stamina and get back into their reading when it feels difficult is also important.  Here is one that a second grade class built together:

I hope you are all off to a strong start to the school year!  More posts will come in October!  I've got some things to share about Small Moments units and partner talk time during the read aloud.  I'll be back soon.