1. Avoid focusing on book levels.
Focusing on book levels promotes fake reading. This is not joyful reading, nor is it helping students improve their reading.
They are focused on what others may be thinking and not at all about enjoying the book in front of them.
Teach children how to determine what good fit books are for them. Ensure they understand that only by reading good fit books can they improve their reading.
2. Don’t rush start up (go slow to go fast in your literacy program)
Teach the expected behaviours, transitions and systems. Have students practice them a lot.
Shut down the activity and debrief if unexpected behaviours broke the stamina and interrupted learning for others.
When students understand the importance for building reading skills and have a clear understanding of what expected reading behaviours look like, you can then get into the business of an engaged community of readers.
3. Avoid using the same one text for every child for independent activities (consider the diversity within your classroom )
Multi-level books on the same topic, as can be found on sites like A To Z Reader can support access to the same book if needed. Open-ended tasks and questions can allow for students to participate using books at their own reading level.
Augmentative technology can support students with special considerations (Google Read and Write, Kurzweil, Online and CD Audio books)
Our goal is always to build readers for life. And when children experience joyful reading, we set them up for success!