Helping Students Fall In Love With Books: A Reading Intervention

One group of students who I think we often ignore is those students who are solid readers, are compliant--but aren't "engaged readers".  We know that students learn to read by READING, so if they aren't reading at home and aren't challenging themselves at school, their progress will be impacted.
Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits, set reading goals, and build reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction.  This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved.  Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading


Getting Students Talking About Books

This is exactly what I have been going through with one of my students.  She is "at grade level" in reading as measured in a number of ways, but I've noticed all year that she does the absolute minimum.  She doesn't read at home despite her parents badgering her.  She loses focus at school as she reads.  She abandons books often. She CAN read.  She just DOESN'T read.

Because I think it's vital that we are creating readers, not just "test passers", I am not willing to accept that she is holding her own--because she is being held back by her reading behaviors and habits.  If I want her to reach her potential, I need to step in.

Here's what I do with reluctant, capable readers like her!

I first ask some questions...

Do you know what you like?  Do you know what you don't?

Where do you like to read?  Where don't you?

Which books that I have read TO you have you enjoyed?  Why?

And then we begin.  We move to my classroom library and we sit together.  I start pulling books off my shelf and heaping them in front of her.  Her job?  To sort them into three piles...

I am very interested in this book!
I might be interested in this book.
I don't think this book is a good match for me.

(Let me tell you...if you don't have a classroom library, start.  If you don't know your collection, start.  The success of "matching students to books" depends on it!)

Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits, set reading goals, and build reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading
As she was looking, I reminded her of all that we have learned about previewing books...so she read the back of each.  She opened them up and read a page...she looked at the length and even asked me questions to help her make her decisions.
Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits, set reading goals, and build reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading

Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits, set reading goals, and build reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading

Finding "Just Right" Books

As she worked, the piles began to emerge.  Every few books she placed, I asked her, "Why?" and she would tell me what had caught her eye or turned her off.  We learned that she likes characters that are "real" but quirky.  She likes books where these characters face interesting struggles and overcome them.  She likes books that have a little "magic" to them without being "fantasy".
Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits, set reading goals, and build reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading
 As she sorted, I started a list for her on the computer.  When she finished (I had given her about thirty books to preview), I asked her to take her "definitely" books and put them in the order she wanted to read them.  She did, and I handed her the first two books to keep in her desk and get started.  Within the first two days, she had read the same number of pages she had read in the previous two weeks--and was grinning ear to ear!  Was it worth the half hour of my time?  I believe so...
Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits, set reading goals, and build reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading

Setting Reading Goals with Students

I am a firm believer in helping students realize that reading is complex--and that realizing that reading is far more than just "reading the words".  Today, I helped one student realize how important it is to find books you love and to READ, READ, READ!  This is one of my goal posters from my Reading Goals resource...because it's so important to understand that reading IS multi-dimensional and we, as teachers, need to help students grow in all areas of their literacy understanding.
Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits and reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading

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Helping students find "just right" books and working to build reading habits and reading stamina are an important part of our literacy instruction. This blog post shows how I did a reading intervention with a child who was struggling to pick and stick with books she loved. Teaching reading, reading lessons, reading interventions, classroom library, just right books, third grade reading, fourth grade reading, second grade reading, fifth grade reading




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