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Top Teaching: Reading

Helpful reading tips and strategies from Scholastic Top Teaching bloggers.

Top Teaching: Reading

  • 163 Pins

How to Create Excitement for Reluctant Readers. To tackle the number of male reluctant readers in my area, I started an All Boys’ Book Club. You could create a book club for any grade level or reading level.

How to Create Excitement for Reluctant Readers |

Vocabulary Games: Easy, Quick, and Fun. Use these vocabulary games to motivate students, pique their interest, and allow for vocabulary review in an exciting way.

Vocabulary Games: Easy, Quick, and Fun |

Close Reading Using How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Here's a quick, easy, and fun way to tie close reading with the winter season. Try this idea using Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas as the shared reading text for close reading.

A Gift for You: Reading Strategy Sticky Notes. In reading workshop, students are able to jot their thinking in their notebooks or on sticky notes. DeAnna’s templates help guide the student during their reading using different strategies, such as predicting, visualizing, inferring, making connections, etc. They can be easily placed in a student’s notebook or even used as an exit ticket at the end of a lesson.

A Gift for You: Reading Strategy Sticky Notes |

Fantasy and Reality: Character Book Reports Two Ways. One skill we focus on in first grade is distinguishing between fiction and nonfiction writing. Students have to apply what they know about fantasy and reality to fiction and nonfiction texts, and learn that realistic fiction is not quite the same as fantasy. To drive home the differences, and explore the idea of character, students complete two book reports during the year.

We Challenge You: The Book Reading Challenge. These simple, ten-second videos have boosted reading in our classroom. Everyone wants to read a book so they can create a video to share. I’ve sent the videos to parents so that they can post them on their social media sites if they choose. If you want to join in the challenge, show our video to your class and challenge your students to start reading.

We Challenge You: The Book Reading Challenge |

Sharing a Reading Moment: Connecting Reading Personally. I have been looking for ways to encourage and promote a positive reading environment for my students, so I started by signing up for the exclusive Scholastic Taylor Swift video and the live Usher webcast. Seeing how famous people relate to real life is always a hit. When starstruck kids hear about pop icons doing the things that they do — like reading — they go crazy!

Tracking Your Thinking Strategy. Upside Down will be perfect as a shared reading text to model the reading strategies from this unit. The book covers several similar Common Core State Standards for grades five, six, seven and eight. (Key Ideas and Details: Craft and Structure)

Tracking Your Thinking Strategy |

Unity Through Reading. I ordered the book One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley, from Scholastic Reading Club and am so happy that I did. This beautiful book of exquisite photographs digitally journals the course of one day in our world. From early morning to the end of the day, life is captured in the everyday things that people do all over the world: eating breakfast, going to school, working, playing after school, etc.

Unity Through Reading |

Nonfiction Text Features With National Geographic. This year, one of my goals as a teacher is to integrate science and social studies into our language arts learning. One way I’ve been able to do this is by incorporating more nonfiction reading into our daily routine. Instead of looking at main characters, setting, and plot, as our first unit of literature study, we are looking at text features to locate key facts and information relevant to a given topic with efficiency.

Informational Reading With National Geographic. I want to share how I was able to use National Geographic Kids Little Kids First Big Book of Animals by Catherine D. Hughes as a learning resource for students to demonstrate their comprehension of informational material.

Informational Reading With National Geographic |

Tips for Getting Your Guided Reading Groups Started Quickly. Guided reading groups are an integral part of reader’s workshop, but getting them up and running always seems like a monumental task for me at the beginning of the year. This week, I’m happy to share with you a few tips for getting your students assessed and placed into groups within the first few weeks of school.

Use Popular Music to Improve Reading and Inspire Writing. Over the years, I’ve discovered that one way to engage almost every student, even those who are reluctant readers and writers, is through song. This week I’ll share with you some of the ways I use music to inspire, motivate, and teach reading and writing (along with life skills!) in my classroom.

Leveling and Labeling Your Classroom Library. Last summer, I painstakingly reorganized, labeled, repaired, and re-shelved my entire library. For a book-a-holic like me, I assure you it was no small task. The worst part was I was unsure I liked the system once the hours of organizing were over. A year later and it is time to put the books back on the shelves. Here is what worked for me.

Leveling and Labeling Your Classroom Library |

Getting to Know My Students as Readers. Here are some of the ways I “research” my students’ reading lives — and through the process, also gain a deeper understanding of them as individuals. After all, we are what we read at least as much as we are what we eat!*

Getting to Know My Students as Readers |

Reader's Notebook Makeover. At the end of every school year, I reflect on what went well and what needs to be improved upon. I thought that I had finally come up with the ultimate reader’s notebook, but I am still in search mode. Conversations with my colleagues made me realize that there is not just one way — I need to select a “tool” that will work for my students and me.

Reader's Notebook Makeover |

Reading Logs 101. One of the ways my students document their reading is through reading logs. Yes, I do conference with my students and use their reading notebooks as an artifact of authentic growth of their reading, but it is a requirement that they keep track of their reading at home and in school.

Reading Logs 101 |

Ordinary people change the world. A true statement and now one of the best new series of books that I’ve seen in a long time. Author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos are the geniuses who created Ordinary People Change the World, a biographical series that is perfectly targeted for students in kindergarten through third grade. (And that’s not an overstatement!)

Teaching Biographies Just Got Easier! |

I am always looking for new books to support our units of study and to include in my classroom library. Recently, I was introduced to Gaby, Lost and Found, written by Angela Cervantes. I was immediately drawn to the book. Social issues are woven throughout the text and told in such a way as to prompt the reader to become an advocate for Gaby and her causes.

As I opened the box of brand new copies of Geronimo Stilton: The Journey Through Time, the smell of fresh book pages filled the air, as did squeals of excitement from my students. As soon as I started glancing through the text, I realized this book was filled with SO MANY great teaching ideas and potential activities that I would need to split my blog post up into two parts.

Part two will feature topic-specific, hands-on student activities for each era/location featured in the text: prehistoric era, Ancient Egypt, and medieval times.

Out of My Mind, written by multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper, is a story filled with life lessons. Eleven-year-old Melody, who cannot walk or talk, takes on life's biggest challenge as a fifth grader — being "normal." Readers will be enthralled by Melody’s journey towards self-understanding as well as discovering a way to simply be heard.

Teaching With Out of My Mind |

Here are some of the most successful differentiated activities that I’ve used through the years. These activities can be used for any grade level.

Differentiating Lessons for the Gifted Child |

Author Study Book Clubs. As the year begins to wind down and spring fever enters into the hearts and minds of my students, I begin to ponder what June will look like. Students are excited about the warmer weather and all that comes with it. A question I ask myself every spring is, “How do I keep my students engaged and motivated, especially after testing?

Test Prep With Pizzazz: Part 2. When it comes time to "teach to the test," I aim for a couple of experiences that simulate the rigid testing day environment, balanced with more lighthearted explorations of test-taking strategies. (In my last post, I demonstrated Team Test Prep Challenges, another fun way to tackle test prep.)

Test Prep With Pizzazz: Part 2 |