How to Get Your Students Excited About Reading

My 18-month-old twins love to read! The other day, Clara pulled all the books off the shelf and surrounded herself with them as she read. It made me happy. I love to read, and love books! I am always on the lookout for a new book to read.

I started thinking about my students and how to increase their enthusiasm for reading. Some kids are already excited about reading, but many kids don't find it enjoyable. Here are some ideas to help get your students excited about reading:


1. BOOK GROUPS: What second grader doesn't love hanging out with their teacher? Think about starting a book group with your class. Assign a book each month and have 4-5 copies available for check out. On the last Friday of the month, anyone who has read the book can eat lunch in the classroom while you ask questions and discuss the book together. Your students will LOVE the extra time they get to spend with you.


2. LEVEL YOUR BOOKS: If students aren’t reading at their level, they are going to have a really hard time and won’t like reading. At the beginning of the year, I give each student a large Ziploc bag to keep their books in. They can have 3 books at any given time; 2 just right books and one free choice. 

3. VARIETY OF BOOKS: In your classroom, you should have many different levels, genres, and types of books. Find out what your students are interested in and choose books specifically for them. You can also look at your local library for more variety. Don’t forget nonfiction!

4. GIVE BOOKS AS PRESENTS/REWARDS: Use your Scholastic points to get books for the kids’ rewards or presents. This will show them that books are important to you and special.

5. BOOK RECOMMENDS: Keep a binder in your class library with each kids’ name. If anyone wants to write a recommendation, they put it in their spot in the binder so other kids can see what their classmates have enjoyed.



Click the Picture to download


6. Character Day: Plan a day when each child comes dressed as their favorite book character. They can come prepared to talk about why they like their character and/or give a summary of their book.
Here I am as Fancy Nancy.

7. Read Aloud: My students love it when I choose a good chapter book to read aloud. If you get excited about it, they will too! You could read a book that has been turned into a movie, like Willy Wonka or James and the Giant Peach. Some of my favorite read alouds are The BFG, Clementine, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle.




8. Set the Scene: What kid doesn’t love to imagine they are somewhere else? Set your classroom up like a scene from a book you are reading. Get the students to help you decorate and set the scene. This will really help the kids get immersed in the book.

9. Read-a-Thon: I did this with my class and they had a ball. I let them wear pajamas, bring a pillow, a snack, and a few of their favorite books. They could sit with a partner and read to each other or read by themselves. We turned the lights down and they found a comfy place in the classroom to sit. I was worried that kids would just want to talk to each other, but they really sat and read! It was great!



These Pictures totally look posed, but they weren't! This is what they were actually doing. : )


Hopefully some of these strategies will work for your students!!





Teachers Pay Teachers thinks that teachers are heroes, so they are having a sitewide sale, and I am participating. Click on the button below to check out my store:

Happy Shopping!

St. Patrick's Day Clip Art

I have decided to spend some more time making clipart. I am still working on improving my work and trying to get better at Illustrator, but I have improved a LOT since I first started. Here's the first clipart I ever made in 2011:

 Wow. Embarrassing. At least I didn't try to sell it! That one little boy probably took me about 8 hours to make.  This next one is from September of 2014:

I think this girl is WAY cuter! It still takes me some time to make these, she probably took 1-2 hours. And she still isn't great. Look at the weird coloring on her face! Now I use her as a template for the other ones I make, so it really doesn't take super long.

The other day I decided to make a set of St. Patrick's Day clipart for Teachers Pay Teachers. I don't know if anyone will buy it, but I think it is pretty cute. Although, I am never really 100% happy with any of my work. I posted my set this afternoon, and this evening I was back on the computer, changing it up and trying to make it better. Here's a preview:





Hopefully it will be of use to someone and they can use it to make cute products or items for their classrooms. If you would like to purchase this set, click on the image above.

Breaking Bad


Haha! Ok, so if you have never seen Breaking Bad, it's about this high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has cancer. Things don't look great for him, and he doesn't want to leave his family with nothing, so he starts cooking meth in order to save enough money for them to live on when he is gone. 

It is a pretty disturbing show, but so addictive. You are never really sure if you are rooting for him or not. A new spin-off show has just started, called Better Call Saul, and so far it is great too.

Seasons

The weather here has been ridiculously warm for this time of year, and I am loving it! The highs have been in the high 50's and low 60's, and we've been spending a lot of time outside. It has gotten me thinking about weather, and I decided to do a series of weather units. I just posted it on Teachers Pay Teachers, and I am really excited about it. This unit includes opinion writing, how-to writing, games, songs, and poems.


Here are some examples of what's in the unit:










Raccoon Heart

Valentine's Day is such a fun holiday at school! The school mascot at my school was a raccoon, so every year we would make these cute raccoon heads made out of hearts. We hung them up in the hall and they always turned out so well. It was fun to see how the kids' raccoons always turned out different from each other, even though they had the same templates. In honor of Valentine's Day, I created a FREEBIE of this raccoon template for you:



Click here to get the file.


You can do just plain black and white, but it is also fun to add some pink or red for Valentine's Day. Hope you have fun!

I finally finished my Continents and Oceans Geography Unit! I think geography is a fun subject to teach and the kids really enjoy it. I put a lot of work into this unit, and I think it has some fun activities:

Color by number
Continents and time worksheets
Word searches
A booklet to learn about the different continents
A "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" geography game
A "BINGO" geography game

I also have a list of other ideas to teach continents and oceans. Here is the link if you are interested in purchasing it:




Hopefully there are some useful activities you can incorporate into your classroom!!