Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Building STAMINA with the LITTLES

How do you build stamina with your emergent and early readers? It's a challenge, right?  And right about now you may be looking for something to HELP! 

Research says these readers (K-2) should be reading each day for up to twenty minutes, but HOW does that happen when these readers are five, six, and seven years old?

Not to mention once you get them reading, it looks like the Bookfair threw up all over your classroom with their books spread out all over the place! 

Making a plan for reading and sticking to that plan is critical for all readers- but especially readers at these early levels! 

A great tool to teach stamina and organization of books with your primary readers is a reading mat! 

I introduce this after we've had a few days to practice our independent reading- you know- when I notice that we're only ready for 3 minutes on our own! This tool will help your readers stay on track with reading and YES even help them read for 20 minutes (someday!). 

Materials you will need:
-one file folder per reader
-front cover directions page
-inside pages or red/green marker
-one paperclip per reader



Here is what a completed reading mat looks like!  The only thing I still need to do is laminate the mat for durability!



We talk a lot about building stamina in the early days of independent reading time.  As a class, we set goals for how long we can read.  We graph our reading minutes.  We practice reading the right way over and over again to build our muscle memory. 

It makes sense to have an individualized tool readers can use to help them become independent. 

I teach my students that readers make a plan.  This means we have to choose which books we want to read first, second, third, etc.  We make a stack of our books.  Our stack becomes our plan for reading! 

I teach readers to place their stack on the side of the folder with the green dot.  Now it’s GO TIME!

Readers read one book.  When they finish, they place the book on the red dot side, signaling they have completed the read.  Right away, readers pick up the next book in their stack and keep reading. 

Eventually, all books will be on the red dot side!  But we know in our classroom that once we think we’re done, the work has just begun! 

So I teach readers to pick up the top book on the red side and read it again!  Moving it over to green.  Readers repeat this process for as long as their reading time allows for. 

Once my readers get the hang of making a stack and reading, reading, reading, I add an extension to the reading mat. 

Next, we are ready to track how many times we have read our stack!  We know that rereading makes us better readers, so keeping track of how many times we have read our stack is a great way to celebrate becoming a better reader! 

I simply give students a paperclip and they place it on zero, moving the paperclip as they read their stack one, two, three, or more times!  Are you catching how LONG IT WILL TAKE KIDDOS TO READ ON A READING MAT? They may NOT make it to 8- ever! Don't tell them that of course! :) 




Click HERE to download the freebie! HAPPY READING- FOR A LONG, LONG, LONG TIME! 




Melissa