Tag Archives: books

Encouraging a Love of Reading

Encouraging a Love of Reading

I am often asked by parents how to get their children hooked on books – how to encourage reading at home. I love it when I am asked this question! Reading is such a gift & I welcome any and every opportunity to encourage my students to see the value & pleasure that comes with reading.

… & so, if you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see and hear me sharing he following ideas with parents.


(A) AT Home & At School

  • Model reading – “show them” that reading is both entertaining & informative
  • Interest “Surveys” – find out what children want to read –  what interests them – what’s “hot”
  • Easy Access – have reading materials everywhere around the house, in the car, in the classroom
  • Variety is the Spice – provide options/choice e.g. novels, picture books, graphic novels, magazines, fiction, non-fiction (e.g. biographies, sports, geography, science, poetry, etc.)
  • Read alouds – Read aloud to your children. Even older kids often love being read to.
  • Talk-Talk-Talk – talk about what’s being read – make it social as well
  • Play with Books
  • Time – set aside enough time for reading – give them the time & the place/space
  • Re-read – give children permission to re-read old favourites

(B) At Home
A Special Place – create a special place for children to read (e.g. fill the corner of a room with pillows, build a reading-fort under a table, pitch a tent in the garden, etc.)

(C) At School

  • Read alouds – do this a lot, talk a lot, stop along the way …& don’t forget that there are many amazing picture books out there for older students
  • Author visits
  • Provide alternatives/choices to the traditional book report
  • Skpye with authors
  • Exploring: “Free Time” – scatter books (novels, picture books, graphic novels, magazines, fiction, non-fiction) on the carpet & allow students to read/explore them along or with a buddy(s)
  • Exploring: “Speed Dating” with Books – Students are given a few minutes with each book & then they switch to the next

How We Answer Comprehension Questions in Grade 5

How We Answer Comprehension Questions in Grade 5

If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would “see” that this is how we address comprehension questions in Grade 5.
We are very methodical, & yet flexible & organic in our approach.

This process becomes second nature to
my students quite quickly … it becomes automatic … & in fact, should I ever miss a step they are quick to remind me.

Just thought I’d share.


Our Method:

•    Review the previous chapter. Discuss “seeds”. Ask questions … share ideas … wonder why … make predictions. Note: As with the other “steps” (& anything worth doing) it is very important to take one’s time … never rush … savour contributions, ideas & moments shared.

•    Turn to the questions. Read the questions prior to reading the chapter. Ensure that they are properly understood. Discuss any new vocabulary. Make predictions.

•    Highlight any words that will most likely appear in the answer. Take an educated guess. Doing this helps to set yet another purpose for reading, direct questions and also “helps” with spelling.

•    Should students come across answers to questions during our read aloud they mark the page with a post it.This is helpful as they can then move on quickly – and find the answer & page number easily when the time comes. As we stop to discuss readings frequently along the way students are use to reflecting and then returning to text seemingly without skipping a beat.

Boys & Reading: Ready? Set? Go!

“Boys & Reading”: A Few Sites to Consider Along the Road:

As I begin this journey I would certain welcome any suggested strategies/sites/etc.
Let the games begin! 
Sincerely,  Ally
1. “Mentoring Boys: Boys and Literacy” @http://www.mentoringboys.com/literacy.html
2. “Lets ge Boys Reading” @ http://www.oup.com/oxed/info/LetsGetBoysReading/
3. “Let’s Get Boys Reading –  Top Tips” @ http://www.oup.com/oxed/info/LetsGetBoysReading/top_tips/
4. “Tips for encouraging your boy to read” @  http://www.talestoldtall.com/BoyParents.htm