Developing Strong Readers

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King

My students are readers.  They read everything they see. They read books in the reading center, they read books in guided reading, they read anchor charts all over our classroom, they read books in the science center, and they read on their iPads. I model writing each day during Writing Workshop on a chart tablet.  When I fill the tablet, I put it in the reading center for them to read.  It is fair to say, they read in some way all day long.

One of the free apps we enjoy by GrasshopperApps.com is I Like Books.  This is a collection of 37 picture books that cover a variety of topics on things children like, such as, animals, drawing, music, planes, snow, trains, pets, trucks, etc…You can add your own voice by recording the entire story.  There are word highlights, and 3 play-back modes-read to me, read by myself, and auto-play.

The I Like Books App is just one of the reading options we have on our iPads.  In addition to the books I’ve written in iBooks Author that have been uploaded to their iBooks libraries, they have LAZ leveled books, plus other individual books of interest such as Toy Story, Dr. Seuss books, some books by Story Chimes, Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer, and books by Learn to Read. The children have created a few books of their own through eBook Magic that are also available in their iBooks library.

When we immerse young children in literacy-rich classrooms, the foundation of basic early literacy concepts, skills and positive attitudes are developed.  This concept of literacy immersion centers on the idea that children need to exist in a literature-friendly environment. Reading and writing are critical modes of communication in all areas of life.  When we incorporate inter-disciplinary connections to literacy, we increase student success.

Setting up the classroom for literacy immersion is  deliberate and carefully planned.  Children observe the teacher modeling reading and writing, they participate with the teacher in shared reading and writing and they participate in independent reading and writing activities all throughout the day.

As children develop and strengthen their early literacy skills, they are also expanding vocabulary and writing skills, developing longer attention spans, enhancing creative thinking skills, and enhancing their memory skills.

My children would just say they are having fun.

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6 thoughts on “Developing Strong Readers

  1. Hi kristi, I think your blog is amazing. I always receive your posts in my iphone.

    I don’t know if this question is related with your post but are you using your iPads for Running Records? Do you have any special app for this task?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Xavier,
      Thank you for your kind comments and for reading my blog. I do use the iPad for running records. There is an app called Confer. Sadly, it isn’t free and it’s a little pricey but I am able to group all of my students by reading level and it lets me record notes and my next teaching point. Hmmm…I think I will write a blog post soon about it! Thanks!

      • kristi, I was checking the app you mention but it seems it’s not what I am searching for. Do you know an app that can apply running records automatically? I mean, presents a text to a student, the student read it using the iPad headphones and the app show you the running record statistics?

  2. I love reading your blog. It’s so great to see such young children using iPads as a brilliant tool for their learning. I hope you don’t mind that I have included a link to your blog in my latest post ‘Learning through play’.

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