Stay On Track With Independent Reading
Many schools now employ “Leveled Reading” to determine what reading level each child is at, allowing parents and teachers to engage them with developmentally appropriate books. This A-Z chart is a great motivator for children to:
- Track their growth as they move further through the alphabet.
- Improve their literacy and fluency by increasing the difficulty level of the books they choose.
- Challenge their comprehension and vocabulary.
Leveled reading is also important for setting a standard. Children go through rapid development between Pre-Kindergarten and 5th Grade. They learn to speak in complete sentences. They learn to read and write. They develop personalities and interests. But 3rd grade is especially import for children’s educational development. This age is deemed the time when children stop “learning to read” and start “reading to learn”. At this age they should be able to read on their own, read aloud, and comprehend what they’re reading.
In “Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters“ , A KIDS COUNT Special Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, they write:
Reading proficiently by the end of third grade (as measured by NAEP at the beginning of fourth grade) can be a make-or-break benchmark in a child’s educational development. Up until the end of third grade, most children are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, however, they are reading to learn, using their skills to gain more information in subjects such as math and science, to solve problems, to think critically about what they are learning, and to act upon and share that knowledge in the world around them. Up to half of the printed fourth-grade curriculum is incomprehensible to students who read below that grade level, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation.
The greatest challenge is picking books that capture children’s attention long enough for them to complete the reading.
Books Your Children Will Adore
With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the easiest time of year to find books your children can connect with because stores and libraries are flooded with faith-based books to honor and celebrate all holidays big and small. From Santa Claus up on the roof top to Corduroy the Bear lighting the menorah, there’s a holiday book for every child!
To make it even easier, here’s a list of holiday books to get you started:
Spread Cheer With These Great Holiday Books
No matter what holiday you celebrate––Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Omisoka––there’s a book to honor, celebrate, and educate. One of the easiest ways to get kids excited about reading is to find a topic that means something to them. So grab a cup of cocoa, your warmest blanket, and these kids-approved holiday books.
Reading Resources For Parents
Not everyone has easy access to books. And when you do, it doesn’t mean you know which books to pick. There are thousands of stories being told, with more being produced every day. Fortunately, our society believes in the importance of reading and have already started the conversation surrounding book buying and borrowing. Reading has even been taken a step further through video streaming!
Here are just a handful of great online reading resources:
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: Dolly Parton knows better than anyone the negative impacts that come from illiteracy as her father struggled to read and write. In 1995, Dolly created the Imagination Library, a book gifting program that gifts over 1 million free books each month to children around the world between the ages of birth and five years. The Imagination Library offers tips and resources for parents, as well as provides a specially selected book each month. Learn more or see if you can register your child at imaginationlibrary.com.
- Dolly also released her “Goodnight with Dolly” video series where she reads several works from her Imagination Library. Perfect for younger children! To watch, visit https://donate.imaginationlibrary.com/goodnight-with-dolly/
- Storyline Online: this children’s literacy website streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you understand that reading aloud to children helps improve their literacy and communication skills. Get access to these celebrated stories at storylineonline.net.
- #SAVEWITHSTORIES: This social media based initiative is another video-based presentation where celebrities read their favorite children’s books. You can access these videos at https://www.instagram.com/savewithstories/ or by searching the hashtag “#SaveWithStories” on Facebook.
- Hayao Miyazaki Picks His 50 Favorite Children’s Books: In 2017 Legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki released his list of best loved books for children, featuring timeless classics like The Borrowers, The Secret Garden, Winnie-the-Pooh, Treasure Island, and more! Read the full list at https://www.openculture.com/2017/05/hayao-miyazaki-picks-his-50-favorite-childrens-books.html.
Virtual Reading Assemblies
You didn’t think “Superhero Science” was my only virtual assembly did you? I’ve adapted two of my favorite reading-themed assemblies “Yes I Can” and “The Great Reading Adventure” for virtual platforms to bring my love of reading to students near and far!
Just like Bilbo Baggins your students are going on an adventure––a reading adventure! This reading-theme hoot gets children excited about classic plots, characters, and stories like:
- The Harry Potter series
- Alice in Wonderland
- The Sword and The Stone
- Harold and the Purple Crayon
Kid-friendly humor, audience involvement, silly props, and more make this a literary event your students will be talking about all year long!
This character education assembly teaches your students how to be a S.T.A.R.:
I empower your students to be the best versions of themself by reinforcing the concepts of respect, fairness, responsibility, caring, and trustworthiness, stressing the importance of diversity, and reminding students never to “judge a book by its cover”.