Posted on May 25, 2012 by Elizabeth Peterson in Classroom Ideas.
The end of the school year is nearing – FAST! If you are like me, you have so many things to do before that last day comes: science and social studies units, end-of-the-year celebrations, assemblies, music performances, project wrap ups, final assessments, the list goes on. It is easy to let things slide whether you mean to or not and structured literacy time can be one of them. Let’s face it, regular schedules don’t really exist once Memorial Day hits, but don’t let that stop you! Here are some idea of how you can make sure your students continue reading and writing right up until the end.
Random DEAR Time – If you have an odd amount of time between this and that, tell your students to just drop everything and read. Quiet reading time is never wasted time. For some added fun with silent reading, you could actually schedule some extended reading time in and go outside. My school has a nice garden where I like to take my students at least once to read for 30-40 minutes quietly on a nice, sunny day. We all enjoy the time!
Student-Led Literacy Circles -To keep my students reading good material, I have given them quite the responsibility to read things on their own and be held accountable by their peers with student-led lit circles. For this I started my reading groups with appropriate books and then once I introduced the book to them, allowed them to create their own discussions around the books. Each week until the end, the groups will read an agreed to amount of text, do a double entry assignment and then gather together to discuss the reading using their journal entries as a guide.
We have been doing this for a couple of weeks already and it has been working well. Those groups who have finished their chapter books are being given other things to read before the next reading group time: short books, leveled readers and, of course ebooks from Big Universe.
Summer Recommendations – We always want our students to read over the summer, so why not ask them to write or present a recommendation to their classmates? Have students bring in their favorite age appropriate book to share with their peers. Or maybe, if you have the resources, ask students to bring in a book to do a book swap for the summer. You can have students become summer reading pen pals so that they can keep up with one another and check in with each other on their reading progress. Your students may even have some suggestions for how to continue the reading throughout the summer!
We all know reading is important. So keep your kids motivated until the very end (and then some!) What other ways do you keep kids engaged in reading through the last weeks of school?