Just in case you needed some reminders of what our Home Reading program looks like!
It is very important for students to read on a regular basis. I know that kids are busy and families are busy, but making reading a part of your daily routine is very important. Try to find a time that works…some kids in the class like to read in the morning when they get up, before they come to school, some read right after school, some read before bed, some read while a sibling is at their after school program, some read to a sibling or parent, some read to themselves and some squeeze 10 minutes whenever they can. Kids that read on a regular basis learn to love reading. It becomes part of their day. It becomes part of their life. They become adults who read.
As part of the home reading program it is expected that students record what they’ve read and how many minutes they read each day. It may not be your favourite thing to do, but it should only take a minute. At the end of the week the entire page should be filled out. That means the total amount of minutes read at the bottom, and the questions along the side of the sheet. It also means that the back part of the sheet, which we cal the Ask Me…question is filled out too.
The Ask Me…question is sent home on Friday and is expected to be done over the weekend. This is the only regular homework that is asked of the class. The purpose is to have students talk to their parents about something we’ve done at school that week. I hope that children and parents talk about school each day and these weekly questions are examples of things you could talk about. Please answer the question in the space provided before the Home Reading folder is brought to school on Monday. There is also a space where parents can ask questions, make comments, etc. for me.
I do my best to check the Home Reading folders on Mondays. It is important to have the folders are at school every Monday. We write the Ask Me…question on Fridays (unless there is no school on Friday, then we do it Thursday), so folders should be brought to school every Friday. If for some reason I do not get to check the folders on Monday it is important to have the folders there all days! When students forget their Home Reading folders on Friday they are to write the Ask Me…question on a scrap piece of paper and transfer it to the folder when they get home…yet it almost always gets forgotten. Let’s work together to get your child into the routine of bringing a completed folder home and to school each day 🙂
At the end of the month we graph how many minutes that have been read. It makes it much easier to do these totals if the weekly totals are updated. Then the only trick is to remember to make sure to add time from days on previous weeks and subtract time from another week to make sure all days of the month are accounted for. The final task is to colour the graph and see how you compare to the previous months. This task shows great problem solving for math. At first we did it at school, but so many kids are doing it at home with their family that we will assign the task to home instead!
For the most part we probably have about 50% of the class participating regularly in the Home Reading program (having everything filled out on both sides of the sheet), another 25% of the class does some of the recording and Ask Me… questions and 25% of the students are not regular participants. I would love those stats to go up 🙂 As an incentive we are tracking each week and giving out book prizes at the end of the month.