Our public school is in a large urban district and includes students who are culturally, socioeconomically, and academically diverse. It is absolutely one of the things I love the most about the students at my school. My kids are typical 9 and 10 year olds who love to read. Reading regularly and voraciously is the norm for our kids. They read widely and choose to read. This didn't happen accidentally. Parents are committed to the idea of regular reading at home. Teachers design their school day so that kids spend large blocks of time reading a variety of authentic texts. Teachers share their passion for reading with the kids. Administration dedicates funds and professional development time to reading instruction. As a result, the students choose to read. These readers know books.
My students love to read! Not only do they read well but they are kids who "choose" to read. The challenge comes not only in providing quality literature that keeps up with their reading habits, but also in providing books that are diverse and reflect a range of genres, and reading levels. One of the ways I address these challenges is by filling our classroom library with books that are in a series.
Reading books in a series keeps my kids reading!
Everyone remembers their favorite series as a kid. Was yours Nancy Drew or Magic Treehouse? Those reading memories stay with you and are the foundation for a life time of reading. When reading a series, kids always know what book they are going to read next. They get to know the books so well, the character becomes their best friend. And the predictable structure of a series allows kids to think more deeply about the text. We are requesting great books so my students can build their reading habits and make those unforgettable reading memories of their own.
So it is my responsibility to see that every student has access to books they need and to the series they love. The readers will read every day for large blocks of time. They will self select the books. They will discuss the books with their peers. They will blog about the ones they love. All in an effort to build life long readers who choose to read long after they have left 4th grade!
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