Are your students truly engaged in your whole group reading lessons? Are they excited to read and talk about text together?
If not, no worries! I’ve got you covered with three of my favorite ways to make your reading lessons more engaging.
Phonics, sight words, close reading and text dependent essays are all important. However, our most important job as a reading teacher is to help our students to discover their love for reading. And the crazy thing is that phonics, sight words, close reading and text dependent essays rarely ever help our kids to fall in love with reading.
The easiest and most effective way to help students discover their love for books is to read to them!
And before you even ask- no, your students are not too old to enjoy a read aloud.
When you read aloud to your students you help them to discover new authors, new genres, and new series. You are also modeling proper fluency. Most importantly, your students see that books are important to you!
So bring your kids to the carpet and read to them every single day!
Teachers often ask, should they answer questions during the read aloud so that I am sure they are paying attention?
I say, no.
If you are picking engaging books and sharing your own true love for reading, your students will naturally be engaged.
Let’s show kids that it is ok to just read a book for enjoyment. You don’t read just to answer questions and write essays.
Classrooms that have daily read aloud built into their reading lessons, are inherently more engaging than those that only focus on character traits and main idea. Whether you read picture books or chapter books, the important thing is that you share a variety of types of books.
Looking for some great book suggestions? Click HERE for a collection. of my favorites.
You might be thinking, “Jamie, what in the world is engaging about PowerPoints?”
I totally get it. When I first started teaching, someone on my team gave me a PowerPoint for every story in our reading text book. They were so darn boring! And all we were doing was teaching students the story- not the reading skills that they really needed.
Boring PowerPoints where the teacher just reads the slides will NOT make your lessons more engaging.
Have students share with their table, with their shoulder partner, and with the class. Do your best to get every student sharing every few slides or so. It’s hard to get bored and start trouble when you are so busy participating!
Here are some sample slides that include a call to action for students:
You will also notice that these slide examples help students to learn important reading skills and strategies. They are not just memorizing a story. That makes them more engaging as well!
Reading Interactive Notebooks
Anytime I need to make a lesson more engaging, I add in an interactive notebook activity!
Students love doing the cutting and gluing of these activities. They are as hands-on as it gets!
The important thing is to make sure you are using interactive notebook activities that have simple cuts and don’t require a lot of coloring or art work. We want students to move their bodies, but we don’t have a ton of time to waste!
I love that students are practicing the skills we have covered during the PowerPoint lesson and that they are creating a resource that they can reference over and over throughout the year.
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Whether you use a reading text book, a reading workshop, or Daily Five- there are simple things you can add to your reading lessons to make them more engaging!
Have a Not So Wimpy day,