Ep 155: Four Strategies for Getting Your Kids Engaged in Independent Reading - EB Academics

Ep 155: Four Strategies for Getting Your Kids Engaged in Independent Reading

“How do I get my reluctant readers engaged in independent reading when they just won’t do it?” This was one of our EB teacher’s questions, and it may be yours, too! Jessica and Caitlin share four great tips that will get even reluctant readers excited about reading time. 

From creating an awesome classroom library, to setting routines, to building a special atmosphere for reading, Jessica and Caitlin share helpful tips for getting the right books into your students’ hands and helping them to take real pleasure in the reading experience.

Take a listen and answer the reflective questions that this episode will offer you. You’ll come away with the tools you need to create a clear, intentional plan for making independent reading time what it’s supposed to be: stimulating, engaging, and fun — for everyone!

Tune in now to hear:

  • [01:50] “How do I get my reluctant readers engaged in independent reading when they just won’t do it?” Today’s podcast will answer this EB teacher’s question.
  • [02:50] A podcast episode that ties in nicely to this topic: “Why I Do Not Use Reading Logs” with Melissa Kruse (episode 153)
  • [03:20] Traits of reluctant readers. Do you have one (or several) of these in your classroom?
  • [04:30] Strategy #1: Create a classroom reading culture — questions to help you reflect on your classroom’s reading culture and become more strategic with your students’ reading time (see the end of these notes for a list of the questions!)*
  • [11:00] Strategy #2: Make reading a priority by setting a routine and sticking to it
  • [13:40] Strategy #3: Take an inventory of your classroom library. Make sure to have high-interest options, books at multiple reading levels (even picture books), and books in series
  • [17:40] Caitlin shares some ideas for building a classroom library on a budget
  • [18:30] Step #4: Motivate your students by making reading time special. Create a special space and build a cozy atmosphere for students  
  • [21:30] Remember: Engaging readers is an ongoing process. Give yourself grace as you try new things! In time, your students WILL be motivated to read as you implement these strategies
  • [22:20] If you’re an EB Teacher’s Club member, check out the July 2020 bundle (our book-tasting bundle)  for great lessons to help develop the reading culture in your classroom! (If you’re not an EB Teacher’s Club member, you can join our waitlist — enrollment opens again in December!)
  • [23:30] Join Caitlin and Jessica next week to learn about the perfect unit to use after winter break!

Questions to help you build a classroom reading culture: 

  1. Have I set my students up for successful independent reading? What are the expected behaviors and procedures?
  2. How do I showcase the books in my classroom library?
  3. Do I have reading check-ins with my students? If not, do I want to? What would that look like?
  4. What is the noise level I expect during independent time?
  5. What are my reading expectations? A certain number of books I want them to read? Do I expect them to read multiple genres?
  6. Are my students going to respond to their books, or read only for pleasure?
  7. Can my students give up on books they don’t like? Is there a limit to the number of books they can abandon in a certain time period?
  8. What is my policy on restroom and water breaks during independent reading time?
  9. What am I doing during independent reading time? Conferencing? Modeling reading?

Click here to listen now!

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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