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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Starting Independent Reading in First Grade

Well, our first day of school is in the books.  I am teaching first grade this year which is a bit different from my usual upper elementary.  I will admit that I was a little hesitant about the switch, but I loved it!  Those little cuties are so fun and eager to learn.

One of the things we started today was independent reading time.  Now I knew that most of these kiddos were not going to be actually reading books during reading time.  However, I still wanted to get them in the routine of having a time to quietly look at books.
And I think for the first day, it went pretty well.

I started by having them all sit in our reading area.  We talked about all the places where books can be found in our classroom.  I told the children that they can read any of the books in the room, even if the books are on display.
This is our classroom reading area.  All of the books on display are from my local library.

Next, I talked about how reading is simply telling a story.  I reminded them that they can "read" a book by just looking at the pictures and telling a story about the pictures to themselves.  A few of my students looked a little shocked to hear me call that reading!

Then, I told them that I was going to let them read quietly by themselves for 10 minutes.  We talked about what reading quietly was and wasn't.  I also told them that they could read anywhere in the room, even under their desks!  Boy was that exciting!!

Finally, I asked them if they had ever seen a bookworm.  Obviously they all said they hadn't.  I showed them my jar of bookworms {gummy worms}.  I told them that if they read quietly for 10 minutes, they would earn a bookworm to eat right then. Talk about motivational!

 Then we started reading.  I think they did pretty well for the first day.  I'm not going to say that they were perfectly quiet the entire time.  However, I was impressed with their ability to look at books for the whole time.  And when they did talk, it was to show a friend a picture that they liked in their book.  You can see where they were most excited to read.

And yes, one of my girls spent most of the time looking at our classroom dictionaries.  I told her that was completely fine. {After all, I remember liking to look at my dictionary when I was a little girl.}  After the 10 minutes was over, I rewarded each of my little readers with a delicious bookworm.  Hopefully the fun they had today will help them be just as excited for independent reading time tomorrow too!

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