18 February 2013

Giving kids choices

The first installment
There is something to be said in favour of giving kids choices.

That statement is very broad, but then the whole idea of giving kids choices and helping them make wise choices has wide application.

In this case, I'm talking about reading. I was thrilled to hear a parent tell me today that it is no longer a battle to get her daughter to read. Yes!!! :) At the start of the year, and the first parent-teacher conference, this parent had confided in me that her daughter really hated reading. I made a few suggestions, and made two resources available. One of the resources was an on-line reading program where kids read books that are just the right level for them.  The other resource was my classroom library.

When I started at EWIS back in August 2010, I had no classroom library. Over the past 2 years, largely thanks to some generous donations and an excellent 2nd hand bookshop, I have built a collection of over 500 books, ranging from beginning levels through to advanced grade 5+ reading levels. The books include a variety of genres at a variety of reading levels.

While reading for 15 minutes each day is a compulsory part of homework, I don't tell the children what they have to read. I do however ensure they have access to books to read. Every morning the children have a chance to change their classroom library book (unless they are late for school). It has worked.

Ready for the start of this year.

In September this year, the student concerned was choosing mostly short stories in picture books. As the year progressed I've watched her discover chapter books, and she's now happily reading medium level chapter books.

So this post is in honour of all those who have contributed to the Grade 4K classroom library. It is the envy of other classes, and the students love it. Thank you all so much.

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