The More You Read . . .

the better reader you become. The better reader you become, the more you read!

It just makes sense that to become a better reader you have to read.  I used to tell my students that pro basketball, baseball or football players got there by practicing!  They dribbled, batted, passed, ran, jumped and practiced shooting the ball into the hoop for hours and hours in order to become the best player they could be.  To be a better reader, writer or mathematician is the very same, you have to practice.
It is so important for kids to read at least 20 minutes every day. Find out how to squeeze in a little more reading time into your busy day.

I found this chart on Mrs. London's Free Resources that very clearly shows how reading more often leads to increased test scores.
Reading is important,  Here is a free infographic that shows how reading improves test scores.

I know the school day is very busy, but you should try to squeeze in as much time as possible for students to read.  In my classroom, if students had any extra time they were to get out a book to read. There weren't any other little time filler activities, they just got out their book and read.

Here are some tips for getting your students to read more:
1.  Make sure they have access to books at their level.  Set up your classroom library so they can easily find good-fit books.  Teach them how to find those books.  You can show them the 5 finger test. Choose a page from the middle of the book, read it.  Count one finger for each word not known or not able to read.  If you get to five fingers then this book may not be a good fit.
2.   Make finding a good-fit book part of your morning routine.  Each student should have 2 or 3 books at their desk, ready to read.  I liked giving my students a Book Baggie.  They kept at least 3 books in it at all times.  When one book was finished it was taken out and another was put in.  This Book Baggie went home every night and was returned the next morning.
Book Baggies are the perfect way for kids to keep their read-to-self books organized so they can go home every evening and then be returned to school.  Saves a lot of wear and tear on the books, too.

3.  Make reading the one and only choice of what to do when an assignment is finished.
4.  Schedule a relax and read time after recess or lunch.  Kids can get their water bottle and find a place around the room to relax and enjoy their book.  In order to maximize the time, set a timer.  When the timer goes off, if everyone is in their spot and reading, the class earns a point toward a Friday reward.
5.  Connect independent reading to your reading lessons.  One way to help connect your reading lessons to the independent or read-to-self time is to use Thinkmarks.  Thinkmarks are small bookmarks students keep in their book to remind them of a recent skill or strategy taught during a lesson.  The Thinkmark may even have a place for students to stop and jot down notes as they read.  
 Click on the image to download a free sample of the Thinkmarks from Crockett's Classroom.
When kids use Thinkmarks they are more engaged with their reading.  It's also a great way to transfer skills and strategies practice over to independent reading.

I hope you've found an idea or two you can using in your classroom this year.  Happy Reading!


  1. I love your darling graphic showing how important it is to read... It's SO true!!!
    Reading was always the favorite filler in my class as well, because I remembered how much I loved to read whenever I could as a student... heck, I love to squeeze in reading whenever I can now as an adult!
    Thanks for all the helpful hints too - great post! xo Pam

    1. Thanks Pam,
      Reading always came first in my classroom. I loved watching the kids get lost in a book!


  2. I love the chart you made, Debbie! Reading at home is SO important!

    1. Thank you! Reading should be our first priority in the classroom, especially in the younger grades.


  3. My principal gave us a copy of the data in your graphic a couple of years ago and I've been sending it home with parents ever since. Yours is much cuter! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Reading is so important, and it totally plays a part of what students are doing in other subjects! The chart is a great example of how students will learn more by reading more. The amount their vocabulary changes alone is mind blowing!! I LOVE the idea of awarding a point if everyone is reading by the time the timer goes off! What a great idea!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade