Sunday, December 29, 2013

A New Year Means A New Reading Routine

While I was browsing the net earlier today I came up with some great ideas that I plan to use at the beginning of the year. You all know that my students are struggling readers and can be as far as 4 grade levels behind so they are very reluctant to read. I've worked all year to get my groups reading and they were just to the point where they were starting to LOVE reading before we left for Winter Break. Starting in January I will have a whole new group of students, some may still be with me from last semester but most of them will not. This breaks my heart because they need all the help they can get but I have to do what I'm told right?

Anyways, I've decided that I'm going to switch up my lessons just a little to help kick start the new year! With non-fiction reading being such a huge part of the common core I thought I would start there. Then it hit me... If we are reading non-fiction why not watch non-fiction too?

Kids love watching videos, it doesn't even matter what the topic is about. Do you remember how excited you were when your teacher rolled in one of these?
Now, we don't have to load up the TV, VCR, etc. to watch videos anymore so why aren't we doing it more often? I know many of you are thinking, "Because I'm teaching CCSS and I don't have time to watch videos! DUH!" but that's where you and I are wrong... Don't we all have 2-3 minutes of transition time between subjects? Why not get your kids ready for reading while you transition! 

This is how I will be starting all of my lessons from now on; well at least how I will be starting my introduction lessons since some lessons last 2+ days. When teaching non-fiction I am going to do these two steps to help my students build comprehension of a topic:

Start each lesson with an anchor video:
  • This will help the students gain/build background knowledge and develop a mental image of the topic that we are about to discuss. 

Read about topic:
  • as a whole group (or in my case during small group pull-out) read an article, text, etc. about the non-fiction topic you are focusing on. During the reading focus on a comprehension skill (main idea, key details, cause and effect, etc.) and/or a reading strategy. 
You can find so many short clips of videos around the net that you will not need more than 2-5 minutes for the video introduction for your lesson. You can check out these 4 places to start your short video clip collection:

There are 100's of other places you could access too but these are just the top 4 that came to mind for me. 

I think this is going to be a huge change for my reading students but I also truly believe that it's going to make a huge change in the way they view reading! What do you think? Would you be willing do implement this routine into your reading lessons? I would love to hear your opinions and suggestions about this. 

Once the semester starts back and I have a few of these lessons under my belt I promise I will come back and let you all know how they are working. I am keep my hopes up that it will be just what I need to get my new students excited about reading! 


  1. This sounds really interesting. I think I will try this with my resource students. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this information. Here is a cool resource for teachers from TeacherSherpa