Wow, already this is the second Saturday in April! Which means this is the second installment of reflective posts that Tammy from Forever in First, Julie from Lighting a Fire in Third Grade, and Sandi from Literacy Minute and myself have gotten together to write. We truly hope you enjoy them and that they spark some reflective thoughts. After reading my reflective post, be sure to head over to each of their blogs and check out their thoughts too! We do appreciate it so much!
By second or third grade, good readers are reading 10 times as many words each day as poor readers- Richard Allington
This quote comes from Richard Allington and Patricia Cunningham’s book Classrooms That Work They Can ALL Read and Write.
This is a wonderful, wonderful book that leads schools in the direction of literacy in the classroom for all students. It’s a great read and what I would hope all schools would aspire to be.
Allington and Cunningham state that by second or third grade, struggling readers lose their I can do anything attitude in reading and writing and begin to avoid reading and writing situations. In essence, they lose that spark that we see them having for these subjects in kindergarten and first grade. The great thing about Allington and Cunningham is they don’t just give you statistics on how bad it can be, they give you steps to overcome this. They lead us to make the commitments of modeling for students, providing lots of materials, and providing amounts of time to help struggling students and really, all students not to lose their “spark.”
Allington and Cunningham challenge us to use 4 types of material every day in our classrooms.
Four Steps: (Don’t you just love short, well laid out lists?)
1. Read informational texts at different times of the day, every day. Keep it short and fascinating.
2. Read traditional read alouds. Some should be a step above what the students can read on their own and read some easier books because they will want to read these books that you have “blessed.” Here is my blessed books basket- you may have seen this in a previous post.
3. Read poetry every day. Use the few empty minutes during your day to get this one in. Students love poetry and the rhythm and rhyme.
4. Read easy books to the students and let them read easy books. Struggling readers have often missed this time at home of reading and rereading pleasure books. How many of us choose a difficult book for our pleasurable reading at home? We need to model reading and provide the time to read books for pleasure.
This is a tall order for us to fit in every day! How do you fit it all in? I know I love poetry, but am definitely falling short of reading a short poem or two every day to my students and will need to make an effort to do better. I would love to know how you fit in all these steps in your already busy, busy day!