Reading for Fun

In my previous post, I wrote about phonic associations and was going to implement “live spelling”, however my plans were changed!  Due to Hurricane Matthew, my school has been out all week.  Although I have had teacher workdays, I can’t help but wonder what my first grade students are doing.  Playing video games, shooting hoops, and helping their family clean up debris all come to mind, but I can’t picture any of my students picking up a book and reading.

Why is this? Have I failed as an educator because I have not modeled a love for reading?


In my classroom, I am consumed with teaching students to learn to read.  We work on phonic skills, sight words, and print concepts.  Students minds are busy during these times learning the skills being taught.  One of my favorite times of the day is right after lunch when students sit on the carpet and I read them a book based on the theme of the week.  Last Friday, we read the book Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington.  This story is about a little boy who plants pumpkin seeds and watches it grow.  After we read the story, we talked about the characters, setting, and plot of the story.  Was this “fun” for students?

According to this blog on Edutopia, teachers can foster a love for reading by doing 5 things:
1. Read Alouds
2. Visiting the Library
3. Developing a Classroom Library
4. Start a Book Club
5. Write Stories

By looking at this list, I already do several of these.  First, I believe in the power of read alouds and modeling for students.  I incorporate read alouds throughout many parts of the day.  Additionally, we visit the library weekly during our specials time  Students are encouraged to go to the library as often as they would like in the mornings.  Over the years, I have developed my own classroom library and I have organized it by topic.  This makes it easier for students to find a book that interests them.  Students are allowed to visit our classroom library during center time and check out a book to read during the “reading” station.

Next week, I will encourage my students to find a book that they want to read during snack time.  I will bring my own book and we will read together.  After reading, I will allow my students to have conversations about their book with a partner.  This promotes sharing what they have read and learned, as well as the speaking and listening skills required by Common Core.

Writing a class story would be an engaging activity for students.  Since Halloween is coming up, I will have my class write a story together. I plan to do this during writing time by giving students a topic sentence on a piece of chart paper and have each student add a part to the story.  {I’m thinking my topic sentence will be: My friends and I were trick-or-treating and…}

From all of this, maybe I am fostering a love for reading and I simply do not realize it. Actions speak louder than words and children learn from the actions of those around them.  I will make an intentional effort to read more in front of my students because I know that most of them don’t see their parents reading at home.


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