Friday, September 28, 2012

Ten Hours of Reading

Can you read for ten hours?

  I asked my students that question today.  They overwhelming felt that they could never read for ten hours.

So I challenged them.  My Reading Essentials Class has 20 minutes of Read to Self every day.  Twenty minutes of silent reading every day.  Five days a week for the six weeks of this middle school exploratory class.

That equals 100 minutes per week.

Read 20 minutes a day times the six weeks of the class= 600 minutes of reading.

600 minutes is 10 hours.

Would you be better at playing sports if you practiced for 10 extra hours?
Would you be better at your musical instrument if you practiced for 10 extra hours?
Everyone knew that 10 extra hours of practice would make you better at sports or music.

You will be better at reading if you practice for 10 extra hours.

I explained that Reading Essentials is a class with laser-focus on reading.  We use every minute to help improve our reading.

I even guarantee results.  I've never had a student who took advantage of the time we give them to practice and takes to heart our goal setting in conferences that didn't improve their reading skills.  I've had students who didn't improve but they also used Read to Self for goofing around or day dreaming. 

How many classes give you a guarantee?  I'm confident of this because I have seen it work.  Over and over students improve with laser focus on improvement.

What fun it is to see this growth in my students.

Friday, September 14, 2012

3 Ways to Read a Book

One of the first lessons I will be teaching my students this fall is 3 Ways to Read a Book.

I use the Daily 5 format for a middle school exploratory that I call Reading Essentials. Reading Essentials is a reading intervention for our struggling readers in a Michigan middle school for grades 6 - 8.

The students are supplied with books and magazines in their interest areas when we begin. I've found that many of them gravitate toward the magazines. But as I observed them reading, many students were just flipping through the pages and glancing at the pictures.

I developed a lesson called 3 Ways to Read a Book. I use the lesson to emphasize how making meaning from the text is very important whether you are looking at pictures or reading words.

I offered the PowerPoint to my readers earlier but I have now revised and expanded it. I believe it is much improved.

If you are would like to use the PowerPoint, just send me an email. In return for the PowerPoint, I ask two things.

1. Share with me if you have been able to use Daily 5 or the Cafe Menu with middle school students. We can all learn from each other.

2. Give me suggestions how to improve the PowerPoint and how your students reacted to it.

We're all working together and I'd love to create a network of middle school teachers who are using the Daily 5 for this age group.

Brenda Benedict