Have you ever made a small change that your students noticed immediately? Each year, the first time I wear my hair curly instead of straight leads to chaos and questions. Any change in routine – a fire drill, for example, may last only a few minutes but usually makes everything feel out of whack. And I can’t even think about what goes on when I’m absent!
On the other hand, when I establish a good routine and no obstacles are standing in our way, the students will usually follow it without thinking twice. Predictability is comforting for students because it makes them feel in control of their environment. So let’s get into it – how do you create a classroom reading routine and stick to it?
First, how are reading routines helpful?
Reading is a complex skill and establishing a routine helps students in multiple ways. Perhaps the most obvious way is that routines create consistency, which helps students to stay committed to their reading goals. When students read, they learn new vocabulary and increase critical thinking skills.
Reading regularly also reduces stress, improves focus, and enhances imagination. With busy schedules, students benefit from working reading into their routines at set times. It can be after school, before bedtime, or on the weekends.
What does the research show?
One thing is for sure, the benefits of a consistent reading schedule can be seen in the numbers.
Reading for 20 minutes a day seems to be the sweet spot .When children read for this long, they are exposed to almost 2 million words per year. In a recent study, students scored in the 90th percentile for reading achievement on standardized tests after reading for at least 20 minutes a day.
How can I get my students into a reading groove?
With ReadTheory, you can get your students into a weekly reading groove by clicking on the “Activities” tab. Then, you can set a weekly goal for them such as completing 5 passages in one week.
Passages will automatically be selected by ReadTheory and tailored to the individual student.
Students will receive reminders about completing the activity and rewards upon completion. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also set a classroom competition. Teachers have seen students eager to complete the activity and even asking for more!
“ReadTheory has motivated my students immensely, it’s the first activity both my classes do every day. They have come to love Read Theory and look forward to their daily reads,” shares Dr. Yanetsi Nuñez from Miami Dade County.