Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stamina Reading

I LOVE stamina reading!!! 
My first year teaching I went to an all day class through our district and one of the topics they discussed was stamina reading.  What it was, why it is important for kiddos to do, how it works differently in grade levels and classrooms.  One new teacher raised her hand and told of her struggle with implementing it in her classroom.  She said she taught kinder and her kiddos could not even make it for 1 minute!! I do not know why that has stuck with me, even to this day, but from that moment on I knew I would not only be immediately implementing it into my classroom but that my kiddos would succeed in doing it for WAY more than 1 minute!!

Here is how I use stamina reading in my classroom:

I use stamina reading to not only give my kiddos a chance to re-read familiar books but to also gain stamina (get it, stamina reading!!) in reading independently for a good chunk of time.  
Here is how I build up my kiddos stamina.  
I made an anchor chart my 2nd year of teaching and have been successfully using it since.
(Sorry its a little hard to read and there are no cute pictures but hey it works.)
 It says:
Stamina Reading:
You must: read the whole time & not move places & not be distracting & be quiet
You can: whisper read & read the pictures

The numbers 1-20 are a count up to their final goal of actively participating in stamina reading for 20 minutes.  
20 MINUTES you say!!! 
It is true!!
Kindergarten kiddos can read for 20 minutes independently!!
Every class I have taught has made this goal!!

When I first start stamina reading I go over expectations very thoroughly! I model what I mean by reading pictures (especially since I did not have a single reader at the beginning of this school year) and how if I get through all of my books I can go back and read them again..  I discuss with them their goal of being able to read 20 minutes independently by the end of the school year. We also discuss how when we reach certain minutes that are circled in blue we get rewards.  

For minutes 1-3 my kiddos have to stay in their seats and read books from their book baskets that are on their tables.  (They each pick 3 books prior to the time starting so there is no fighting over books during stamina reading.)  When everyone (I make a big deal how we are a team and everyone has to be successful for that certain amount of time during stamina reading before we can move on to more time) has successfully done their part of being an independent reader during our allotted time I color in that number with a red marker and we move on to the next minute goal.  When the kiddos have successfully read for 3 minutes they get to move out of their seats and sit anywhere in our classroom (hitting our first goal that is circled).  

When they move around the room we go over a couple more expectations.  Those expectations being they have to be arms length away from everyone else, only one person under each table, and they cannot be moving around once they have found their spot.  
The kiddos LOVE being able to move and read around the classroom.  
I give each of them a large ziploc bag of about 6-7 books.  We use Hartcourt Reading material at our school so I put their pre-decodable and decodable books in their ziploc bags plus some other small books I inherited when I moved classrooms.  We currently read one pre-decodable Hartcourt book per week that we practice over and over.  By the time they get their ziploc bag of books there should be at least 1 book that they can read the words independently.  (Once I start doing guided reading with my kiddos I will make them personalized bags so they can practice all the books they have been reading at school during class and guided reading.)

My kiddos just got to 7 minutes so they have earned their whisper phones.
We once again discuss expectations of using a whisper phone and not "playing" with our whisper phone!
(I love whisper phones because the kids can really hear themselves reading!!)
 Look at her using her whisper phone and her reading finger!!!

My kiddos are currently working on getting to 10 minutes so we can have a day where we go outside to do stamina reading!

I haven't yet decided what they are going to be earning at 13 minutes (I try to change it up every year).  At 16 minutes they will be earning popcorn to eat during stamina reading and at 20 minutes a pizza party!!
I always tell them about their final goal when starting stamina reading in our classroom that way they can be excited to not only read that long but get such an awesome prize!!

What I do while they are reading:
I monitor till about 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes I start pulling a small skill group or individual kids who need a couple minutes of one on one attention in a certain area. I also monitor students individual reading levels by sitting next to them and having them read me a book.  They LOVE when I do this!

Things to remember:
I also discuss with my kiddos how I am not available for them during this time.  They cannot get up and try to talk to me at all.  I also remind them that it is not time to go to the bathroom/get a drink (of course you have those emergencies but for the most part the rule is followed very well in my classroom).  

Stamina reading not only allows your kiddos to get more practice reading previously taught text but it also teaches them to love reading and enjoy have time to get into books.  


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