It is important that we provide our students with many opportunities to read. One of the most enjoyable things for a Kindergartener is to read to their teacher. Now, a teacher's time is gold, so this can be hard; however, just a few minutes spent per day allowing our students to read to us can really make a huge difference!
Students not only need to know we are listening to them read (and appreciating it), but they also need to understand that when they read emergent readers, they are really building their foundation! Students will enjoy familiar stories that they are able to read, but they will also be building confidence and they'll be working on their fluency!
In the end, it is important for me to take just a few minutes to support my students' reading each day!
Setup for this activity is pretty simple- all I use is books!
I like to use books that my students have read in the past. I choose books that they've had experience with in either reading groups or in their book buddies (that they take home to read).
I put my books in leveled baskets. Each of my students know which basket their reading group should go to when they need to find a book. I put familiar instructional-leveled-readers and independent-leveled-readers in these baskets. I use books on their instructional and independent levels because I want them to actually be able to read them. The key here is to build confidence and fluency, so I don't want the text to be too difficult!
*Students should not have a book that is too difficult for them when they come to me- as long as they pick out of their leveled basket, they should be able to read their text with 90-95% accuracy each time. I want students' experiences with these emergent readers to really solidify the fact that they can read!
At the beginning of the year, once I have set out a few weeks' books in my leveled baskets, I introduce this fun idea for motivating my students to read for meaning and fluency:
READ TO ME!
This sounds pretty simple... but it is very impacting and meaningful in my daily classroom!
I tell my students that every day, during snack, they may come and wait in line to read a book to me. There is only one key: "Until you get to me, you have to continually practice reading your book!" I tell them, "If I see you waiting in line and you're not practicing, I will send you back to your seat."
Why might I be so strict about this? There are two reasons:
1- I want my students to be able to practice as much as possible so they get more and more fluent and more and more confident... before they get to me!
2- I want my students to be waiting in line quietly (because, let's be honest, snack-time can be unruly)!
After students wait in line, they can read their emergent text to me. I look at them, listen to them, help them where needed and even follow up their reading with questions. It may take 1-2 minutes per student, depending upon the student, but it is meaningful! Here, you can see some students practicing while waiting in the snack time reading line.
I take but those brief ten minutes of snack time to provide many students with reading support! And, I don't have to lose any instructional time for this... I simply spend my students' snack time relaxing (and listening), just like they do!
Also, I really like to give academic feedback and strategy ideas, as well as praises. I like to compliment good reading, the use of picture clues, quick decoding with blending, nice inflection and correct stops at punctuation!
Snack-time begins and I start my ten minute timer. That means that my students can go to their leveled baskets and choose a book they would like to read.
Once I have a line, I like to remind my students that,
"Until you get to me, you have to continually practice reading your book! If I see you waiting in line and you're not practicing, I will send you back to your seat." (I keep my eyes open for students who are waiting well!)
*I do this because I really need students to read and re-read in order to build fluency and confidence.
Once their turn in line is up, students can read their emergent text to me. At this time, I make sure to pay attention to each student as they read. I look at them, listen to them and help them where needed. If I feel I have enough time, I like to follow up my students' reading with questions.
Here is a video of one of my students from each leveled group reading to me at snack time!
When the ten minute times goes off, snack-time is over and reading time is over as well.
Then, I call all of my students back to the whole group.
When everyone is listening, I like to talk about one or two students' reading experiences. I like to compliment students for things such as: good reading, the use of picture clues, quick decoding with blending, nice inflection and correct stops at punctuation!
I informally assess this task, as it is optional for my students and it occurs daily, throughout the year. I look at each students and listen intently as they read; that is what makes this exercise so impacting for my students. I like to take note of any speech-production problems students have first- I can address those immediately after reading. I also like to take note of sight words that may be missed repeatedly; I will send home corresponding flash cards home for practice. Finally, I pay attention to the actual books that students may be reading- I like to ask students to re-read stories to me that they may have initially not been very confident with!