Research tells us that eyes on text reading is the best way to get better at reading. Research also tells us that strong readers are more successful at school and in life.
With this in mind, my scholars participate in a daily reading activity called 'Read to Self'. I teach this activity very early in the kindergarten year giving scholars time to increase reading stamina throughout the year. Read to Self is exactly what it says, reading to yourself.
One of the first supporting lessons for successful 'Read to Self' time is '3 Ways to read a book'. The 3 ways to read a book are:
1. Read the pictures - using the pictures to guide the telling of a meaningful story.
2. Read the words.
3. Retell the story - choosing a known book and retelling the story using the pictures as a guide.
Not all scholars come to kindergarten knowing how to read. However, I still expect them to practice the early reading skills of correct book handling, scanning text from left to right, pointing to words using a 1:1 match, searching the pictures to help read the words, searching for known words, searching for and utilizing a pattern in a book and most importantly to always expect to gain meaning from a book.
After teaching these foundational skills, we begin our work on stamina...developing the ability to 'stick with a book' and independently problem solve for a period of time. Each day this week our class set a class goal for how long EVERYBODY in our class could read with out stopping...no bathroom, no drinks, no chatting, no yawning, no daydreaming...just reading. Check out our goal setting/stamina chart: