I’m always looking for ways to improve our reading block so each year begins with reflection, reevaluation, and rearranging. Do I need to reorder my units? Do I need to add more of a certain genre? Do I need more center time? Less? How far do I push my top readers? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably doing the same thing so I wanted to share a few of my favorite reading resources with you.
If you’re stuck in the same-o, same-o ideas you might want to check out this article of 103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading from Reading Rockets. Of course not all of them will work for every classroom, but there are tons of good ideas in there! Sometimes there are simple things (like writing a note to the author) that are so easy to do and provide meaningful extensions, but we get caught up in all the bells and whistles because we feel the need to do these over the top things. Don’t fall into that trap!
I’ve also made it my goal to do more nonfiction this year. Students are naturally curious and they love learning about new topics, but nonfiction is difficult to navigate. Whether it’s academic vocabulary, difficult leveled texts, or just a totally new concept my third graders often get stuck when it comes to research. I have several nonfiction units that I rely on each year (animals, space, and biographies), but I want to branch out more this year. This reading and research pack looks like it’s will be a good fit for my kiddos. My students *struggle* with paraphrasing work instead of just copying facts they certainly don’t comprehend. It has organizers and scaffolds that I know will provide my third graders with enough support to be successful.
Finally, I’m really focusing on the academic vocabulary with reading this year. I’ve always used the reading strategies, but I know I can be so much more purposeful with these mini lessons. Rachel Lynette has a FREE packet to get you started with questioning, summarizing, etc. On the nonfiction side, Aimee Salazar has a free nonfiction poster set that gives readers super visualize clues for captions, diagrams, etc. I truly believe we have to fill up our readers’ toolboxes before we can dig deeper into our texts.
I promise to be on the ball with blogging about our reading workshop instruction this year. It’s one of my favorite times of the day and I have plans to make it even better this year than ever before. I’d love to hear about your successes too!