Building Stamina: Reading and Otherwise

Building stamina can taking many forms. In the literacy world, we often talk about building reading stamina. I've been thinking about this a lot lately through the lens of a personal goal for building stamina. You see, it's January - that time when many who never frequent the door of a gym create or renew fitness goals once again. I've actually belonged to our local, beautiful Community Center for years so I'm used to the January influx of people. I'm typically a regular in the water … [Read more...]

The Rarity of Engaged Readers

This post was expertly written by my coauthor, Angela Peery, and originally appeared on her blog. She's active on Twitter -  follow her @drangelapeery.   Picture a classroom full of youngsters. They could be darling, chubby-cheeked kindergartners or swaggering, confident high school seniors – or anything in between. Can you see them? Now, picture this class engrossed in reading. What does being engrossed in reading look like? What does it sound like? What evidence exists that … [Read more...]

13 Can’t-Miss Strategies to Help Schools End the Summer Reading Gap!

In a few, (very) short weeks, the school year will come to a close. Students (and teachers) have begun the infamous countdown. Regardless of how hard you've worked to support literacy learning in your classroom, summer sneaks in and can quickly chip away at your best efforts and the progress students have made. In this post, I'll share  concrete strategies to keep this from happening. In this post, I'll share a few facts about summer reading loss, and 11 simple ways schools can support … [Read more...]

25 Strategies for Schools to Support Independent Reading

Increased rigor and having students read challenging text is on everyone's mind. While independent reading and student choice may seem like old news, they remain important. Why? Fundamentally, because reading builds vocabulary, fluency, and background knowledge. Student choice and motivation play key roles in nurturing independent reading. Strong, capable readers are those who read widely and diversely in a wide variety of genres and text types. In the quest to build capable readers, … [Read more...]

The Current State of Kids and Reading Independently

Last week Scholastic published the State of Kids & Reading ReportTM which provides a glimpse into the current state of young people and their practices around independent reading. They interviewed parents and kids about behavior surrounding reading for fun. In this post, I'll summarize some of the key findings and provide links to blog posts that I have written about some of these topics. We know that reading matters. The simplest way to build a broad and rich vocabulary is through … [Read more...]

Read All Day! [A “Shake It Off” Parody]

For Read Across America day, teachers Jamie Corso and Colleen O'Neil at Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Middletown, NJ, created a music video spoof to promote reading. The entire staff got in on the fun. And, students benefited by receiving 20 books to take home and read independently. Great idea. Love it! I bet students and parents do, too. Read 25 more ideas for how schools can support reading, and do your part to promote reading. … [Read more...]

100+ Reasons to Read Today

A few months ago, I posted a blog featuring the many (countless) reasons to read. Kelly Muldoon, a teacher, recently forwarded me pictures of several bulletin boards she created featuring both reasons to read (from the blog post) and accompanying book jackets to help inspire students to read. Great job, Kelly, and thanks for sharing! 100+ Reasons to Read Today To escape . . . to dream . . . to meet your new, favorite character . . . to visit a faraway place . . . to snuggle with your … [Read more...]

Join Me as I Guest Host #IRAchat to discuss Strategies to Stop the Summer Reading Slide

While in many parts of North America the mercury may not seem to agree, summer is just around the corner. For teachers, that means it's time to start thinking about the challenge of the summer slide. If summer reading slide is on your mind, then you won’t want to miss this #IRAchat. To get started, join me on Thursday, April 10 at 8pm EST as I guest host #IRAchat and we'll chat about Stopping the Summer Reading Slide. We’ll discuss tips for summer preparation, motivation methods, and other … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Why Reading a Whole-Class Novel Isn’t Such a Great Idea

Recently, I've been writing often about the power and importance of reading. Why? Because reading builds fluency, background knowledge and vocabulary. And a wide vocabulary increases comprehension and student achievement. However, I primarily write about reading because it's a foundation for lifelong learning. And because reading can bring enjoyment. Many of us know the power and satisfaction of finding the right book for the right reader. Hooking students on reading is one of the most … [Read more...]

100+ Reasons to Read Today

I posted "100+ Reasons to Read Today" a few months ago and, as things go, I sort of forgot about it. Then, a freshman English teacher tweeted me @tysonkimberly and suggested the idea of using "100+ Reasons to Read Today" with his students to create a blackout poem. I encouraged him to try it. And he did. And, he tweeted a picture of the result tonight. I thought I'd share it with you. A simple idea that could potentially serve as the vehicle to create a great discussion about reading … [Read more...]