School is back in session, and some of your students kept up their great reading habits and others may have chosen to put their books down. Regardless of their summer reading, these tips will help to get them all in focused on reading this school year.


1. High interest texts

Read books that are going to keep your class engaged. These can be wonderful read aloud books (Need some ideas? Scholastic counts down the 100 best read aloud books) or something that the will appeal to students personal interests. Don’t be afraid to pull in nontraditional texts, such as magazines, comic books, or blogs.

2. Let them read at their own level

Use a leveled library and help guide your students to texts that they can be successful with reading on their own. Finding books that are high interest and leveled just right for them is a gateway to much more engaged readers.

3. Random Reading Assignment

Keep a bowl with precut strips that have different tasks for students as they read in groups or individually are a great engagement tool for both small group and whole group instruction. This will help to keep all students on task, since they will be asked to engage in different ways. Some task ideas for you to get started with (be creative!):

  • Read 4, 5, 6 sentences out loud to your neighbor (when is whole group)
  • Predict what will happen next
  • Summarize the last page we read
  • What part of this text do you connect with? It can be a character, a location, or event.

4. Controlled Choice

Give students options when they read but make sure they are a curated selection of texts that are going to help them practice skills and learn.

5. Have text EVERYWHERE

Text-rich environments ensure that students are reading all time. In those moments (small and infrequent as they might be) that a student’s eyes might drift around the room, don’t you want them looking at sentence starters, vocabulary, and tips for being a better reader? In addition, you can reference these as you are working with your students to reinforce your teaching.

6. Highlight the reading that is happening in all content areas

Reading doesn’t happen just during guided reading or during the ELA block in your classroom; reading happens all the time in math, science, the computer lab, and art too. Use that as a way to hook students that haven’t made the connection between being a reader and learning about topics they enjoy.

7. Have fun!

Reading is entertainment, so your students the fun they can have with text. When you read aloud to your class be animated, show joy, be curious, and be amazed with what can be found in a book.

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