Reading stamina is the strength to read silently for increasingly longer periods of time. Students strengthen their reading stamina through opportunities to read independently for lengthy periods of time. It is difficult for students to develop reading endurance when they are only exposed to short basal text selections, single chapters from books, or short nonfiction text selections that can be read in only a few minutes.
I feel it is crucial to find effective ways to help students develop strong reading stamina. By providing these opportunities for students to read, students gain the confidence to read lengthy texts, become better prepared for high stakes assessments, and strengthen strategic reading processes. The list below highlights ways we can help students develop reading stamina.
15 Ways to Develop Reading Stamina
- Provide incremental time for daily Sustained Silent Reading at school and at home.
- Use a reading interest inventory to provide appealing books.
- Expect students to read a certain number of words by the end of the month or school year.
- Teach students how to choose an appropriate book for independent reading.
- Hold individual reading conferences to instruct and assess reading stamina development.
- Create a peer recommendation chart for students to read and share books. Click here.
- Provide comfortable reading areas away from distractions.
- Provide opportunities for written response to independently read books.
- Provide a reading log for students to track finished books, genres, recommendations, and minutes read.
- Encourage students to set reading goals and track these goals.
- During classroom meetings, discuss “classroom” reading stamina progress and discuss ways to improve.
- Discuss and chart appropriate reading behaviors during independent reading time.
- Discuss independent reading expectations before and after reading time.
- Make books easily accessible in the classroom.
- Foster a love of reading by reading yourself during independent reading time and share a review!
Tompkins, G. (2010). Literacy for the 21st Century. Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson.