Monday, May 26, 2014

To Read or Not to Read

Reading is fundamental.  Reading is fun. Reading is the key to helping a child find success in their educational career.  Over the past five years, I have taught many children to read.  One of the greatest moments as an educator is when that six year old realizes "I can read!"  It is what motivates me daily to get up and go into my classroom and read.  Everyday I read to my students, sometimes multiple books a day.  My favorite book to read to my students is "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by Kate DiCamillo.  There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, like stepping into a book and taking your students along with you.  While reading about Edward Tulane, I have had students shed tears over a young girl's heartache.  These are six and seven year olds.  They listen, comprehend and stare in amazement.  They become part of the novel.  They are able to visualize, draw pictures and write awesome reflections about the characters of this book.  It's an amazing, motivating sight to see.  It becomes a motivator for students to learn how to read.

This year I incorporated a reading log into my student's homework.  I would check it twice a week, and give rewards, such as stickers, and placement on the "Wall of Fame."  No matter how simple the concept, it worked well.  The point I want to make is that the students in my classroom with the highest reading levels, believe it or not, were those who filled out numerous reading logs.  Every day, they would have entries.  They read at home.  They read with someone.  And as a result, their reading soared.

This project let me know quickly that parent involvement is key in reading.  As a teacher, I can teach, read out loud daily, and encourage reading at home.  However, parents make it happen.  So this summer, encourage the children close to you to read.  It really matters.

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