Children, come to the rug to work on our lesson.I was thinking that you might like to exercise a bit to wake up your brains. When we take time to wake up our brains, we call these "brain breaks". Who has watched the cartoon,"Phinneas and Ferb"? We are going to do a brain break to a song called the "Platypus Walk". Since most of the kids are familiar with the show, they are eager to hear the song.
When the song first starts playing, the tempo is very quick and the children can not keep up. Some get frustrated and sit down. You might not get the dance the first time, but with practice and effort you will get there. Why don't we all all sit down this time and just watch. That way you will see what all the moves are. By the third time hearing the song, most children are willing to try again.
Reading stamina is a child's ability to focus and read independently for long periods of time without being distracted or without distracting others. Having stamina for something means being able to stick with something for periods of time. This stamina, or endurance, builds strength. Stamina can apply to lots of different areas, such as exercise or painting. It can also apply to reading.
Just like learning the dance, reading takes practice. Most of you did not know how to read the first time that they pick up a book. Some of you cannot read a book yet. When we start to learn about reading, we do it by hearing stories, just like when we started to learn the dance by hearing the song. Next we look at the pictures in a book, just like we looked at the dancers. Lastly, we practice reading, just like we practiced dancing.
To build stamina, we have to practice every day. Stamina is building the strength to keep going. Look at this sign about Stamina. Compare building stamina to what someone does to prepare for a long race. It is not something that they can do right away, so they start with short practices and each day afterwards, they make their practices a little longer. We will practice stamina, but we will practice the first time without a book, so that we will see if we can sit for three minutes without talking. If you can, then we will be ready to have a book in our hand as well.
One of my favorite smartboard tools is my timer and stopwatch. I use it for for clean-up time and now for building stamina. Boys and girls, I am setting the stopwatch for three minutes. This way you can see when we get close to the three-minute mark. Your goal during this time is to remain silent and sit still. It is a big challenge. If you see someone that is not following the rules, do not break your silence to tell them, but stay on-task yourself. I will be watching and I will remind him.
I have one student who is completely into the time keeping thing, so he is my Master Time Keeper. It helps to choose a student to watch during this time that struggles with being on task. He/She becomes your indicator for when someone breaks stamina. If he/she is rolling around or chatting, you know it is time to reset and try again. When that child can accomplish the task, then you can set your milestone.
I try this first without the books because the book is something that the children can make noise with and are likely to strike up conversations. Then, I see if the children can meet or beat the same milestone with books in their hands. Children, I am going to see if you can break our silent sitting stamina time. You did a great job trying to stay quiet for the whole three minutes, so now I want you to try while looking at a book. If you finish reading your book during our stamina practice, I want you to look at the book again. Do not get up and exchange books. Your goal is to sit and read quietly for three minutes. During the week, if you can get your stamina goal past six minutes, I will let you choose your own special place in the room to read. This is called a "book nook." When you are ready for that, I have a new chart to introduce to you.
Our first few stamina practices, I start with all children sitting on our rug. Later in the week, I let them choose their own "book nooks" which is the name I give to the places in the room where they can read. The children pick a location to read and move their clothespin to mark on the Book Nook chart where they have chosen. After a successful run with books in hand, I show the children a Stamina Graph that I have printed. I mark their best score and color in the graph. I explain that we will fill in this graph each day. We are working toward a final goal of twenty minutes, but start out at three minutes. Repeat this process for as many days as it take to get the children up to 6-10 minutes (The idea of twenty minutes will come later in the year.)