A love of reading is one of the reasons most of you became teachers. Sharing your favorite children's books with your students more than likely contributes to the high number of students who show a genuine love of books. Since many teachers feel that parents do not read to their children, the fact that teachers share books with children on a regular basis is even more crucial if we are to help children become readers for a lifetime. In Session 2, I will share how I devote ten to fifteen minutes each day to meeting these goals.
Now, let's begin Session 2!
As my students line up for lunch, I glance around the room at the neat stacks of books placed on each student's desk. In a few minutes, I will drop them off at the cafeteria for 30 minutes of what usually resembles a scene from Max's visit to Where the Wild Things Are. Settling students into an afternoon of learning can take a great deal of effort on the teacher's part. Now every day when I greet my "wild things" after lunch, I quietly remind them of the books that are waiting for them back in the classroom. The authors of children's literature and their books kids love can tame even the wildest of students, can motivate even when following a tough act like lunch, and can be a teacher's best friend. The students and I think of Silent Reading as precious, uninterrupted time with good books and look forward to it every day.
In this part of the workshop, I will share how to make the most of this independent book time by giving a few ideas to keep in mind before, during, and after Silent Reading as well as offer tips for stocking a classroom library. I'll take you into my classroom for a mini-conference with Tyler and tell you about "The Five Finger Test" that helps students check the "fit" of chosen books. Finally at the end of this section, I'll share Silent Reading incentives that add a little spice to the usual Silent Reading time.