Slice of Life Story Challenge March 26 - Feeding Readers And Watching Them Grow

Today I had the privilege of awarding books to a group of Grade 5 readers who have worked consistently to further develop their personal reading performance across this first term of the school year. These students have embraced a series of challenges starting on the first day of school this year as part of a concerted effort to improve reading outcomes.
  • Reading for longer periods to improve reading stamina
  • Reading in different settings –school, home, outdoors
  • Reading across a range of genres –going out of your comfort zone
  • Reading to learn and learning to read
  • Engaging in quality conversations about books at school and at home.
There has been constant modeling of what it means to live a literate life. Conversations in every classroom have centred on all things to do with books.

 Supporting these broad aims their teachers and I used assessment data to inform the teaching program around reading comprehension. In particular, the data indicated that the teaching needed to focus on the readers’ abilities to generate questions, form inferences, question the author, interpret a character’s actions, summarize, identify literary devices (idiom, metaphor, simile) vocabulary and repair meaning.   

The level of reader engagement has been pleasingly high. Students have willingly embraced the challenges. It is reflected in the improving quality of their responses. The improvement in reading stamina is palpable.  The emergence of reading communities is a joy to behold.

So, it was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to hand out copies of Steven Herrick’s verse novel, ‘Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend’ to readers identified by their teachers as having made a concerted effort to improve their personal reading. I informed the students that this book was among the best books I read in 2012. The looks on the faces of students upon receiving a copy of this book was gratifying to see. -Genuine surprise all round.
The teachers have instituted a holiday reading program and students have reading reflection journals to record aspects of their reading across the Easter term break. The reading season goes on…


  1. Thank you so much for rewarding with reading, for helping students to see the true benefit of being a reader is reading itself!!

  2. I love the goals your students worked on to improve the personal reading, and the reward of another good book.

  3. This makes perfect sense--rewards that reflect the goal being sought--a lifetime of literacy and enjoyment. I can't give my grandkids enough books.

  4. What a fun role for you Alan! It is so fun to see kids work to become better readers.

  5. Great reward, great to be part of that growth. And I love the bookworm poster!!!


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