The years between first and second grades are typically marked by a rapid acquisition of reading skills. A goal for children at this stage is to develop greater fluency and to begin to sustain independent reading for longer periods of time. At the 1-2 level, daily READ time provides students with opportunities to practice decoding, building vocabulary and growing comprehension skills. During this time teachers help students select books and set reading goals that are appropriate to individual reading levels, interests and abilities. Teachers also use this time to work one-on-one with readers to monitor progress, focus on specific strategies and assess the skills outlined in the UCDS Reading Continuum. In addition to the classroom “just right” reading selections, students are expected to read at home each day. Classroom teachers and our school librarians are excellent resources for students as they select books to support their growing skills.
At the 3-4-5 level, readers make the important shift from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Daily independent reading time provides students the opportunity to practice their growing independence as readers. During this time teachers help students to select books and set reading goals that are appropriate to their individual reading levels, interests and abilities. Teachers use this time to work one-on-one with readers to monitor progress, focus on individual reading strategies and assess the skills outlined in the UCDS Reading Continuum. A goal at this stage is for students to broaden their reading selections to include choices from a variety of genres, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction/fantasy, non-fiction, biography, short stories and poetry.
Students make record their reading and responses in a reading log kept in their journals.
Throughout the day there are both formal and informal opportunities for students to share their thoughts about books with their peers and teachers. Independent reading, assigned reading and literature groups give students a sense of belonging to a community of readers. Our school librarian is an excellent resource for students as they select books to challenge their thinking and their reading abilities.