Every teacher knows that one of the best ways to improve students’ reading skills is to make reading response a daily activity. In fact, students should be writing to respond to text multiple times a day – but it can be hard to fit it into your already packed schedule. If you really want to increase the time your students spend writing about the reading – consider these three ways you can include it in your school day.
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Warm-Ups or Morning Work
Morning work can be a great opportunity for students to engage with a piece of text, whether it be a paragraph or something longer. For example, if you’re working on the main idea, you can display a paragraph on the Smart Board for students to read. Students can write a 2-3 sentence response that states the main idea and key details in a reading/writing journal or as an exit ticket that you can collect. This is a great way to get students reading and writing first thing in the morning and can set the tone for a productive day of reading and writing. Plus, it’s a fun way to start the day!
Daily Reading Lesson Plan
Make reading response a part of your daily lesson plan. Be intentional. Create a space within your lesson plan template specifically for this. That way, it will always get accomplished.
By scheduling 1-2 specific questions for students to answer in writing, you can encourage them to think critically about the text and make personal connections to the material. Not only will this help them to better understand the reading, but it will also give you valuable insight into their thoughts and reactions.
One of the best ways to engage students at the end of a read-aloud is to ask for their response. This can be either skill-specific or general, depending on what you want to focus on. For example, you could ask students to identify a character trait of the protagonist or to make a prediction about what will happen next in the story. Asking for a reading response not only helps to keep students engaged but it also allows you to gauge their understanding of the text.
If you’re looking for something fun, you could also ask students to share their favorite part of the story. Connecting to their own life is another way to respond to the reading. No matter what type of reading response you choose, allowing students to respond is a great way to wrap up your read-aloud. It ensures that they get the most out of the experience.
By taking a few minutes each day to do reading response, you can help your students develop their comprehension and writing skills. These three ideas should help you get started. There are many other ways to include reading response in your classroom. What works best for you and your students? Try out a variety of methods and see what helps them become better readers and writers.
These resources include reading response activities, which means there is no prep for you! Check them out!
Non-fiction Reading Passages Washington, D.C.: 3rd and 4th graders LOVE learning about the world around them! This reading packet about Washinton, D.C., and the famous monuments will not disappoint. It is FULL of reading response opportunities with graphic organizers and reading comprehension questions.
Main Idea Close Reading: Reading about animals is probably #1 on every kid’s list of favorite things to read about! This reading packet includes four passages: Eagles, Black Bears, Alligators, and Snow Leopards, plus a main idea anchor chart, graphic organizers, and reading comprehension questions.
Character Traits Close Reading: This fun story about Jared facing his fears will be one your students can relate to. Focused on character actions in this story will have students follow the plot and connect the character to plot in their responses. A reading passage, character traits anchor chart, graphic organizers, and reading comprehension questions are included.
Point of View Close Reading: Understanding who is telling the story and why this matters is the focus of this fun story about a fun Saturday the main character experiences! Includes passage, point of view anchor charts, graphic organizers, and reading comprehension questions.
Theme Close Reading: This cute little mouse will enchant readers as they focus on the theme of this story. A reading passage, theme anchor chart, graphic organizers, and reading comprehension questions are included.
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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