I’m linking up with Collaboration Cuties today for their Must Read Mentor Text linky. This linky always gets me even more excited about teaching reading since I always find so many other great books that I want to add to my classroom library! Today I am posting about one of my favorite books that I read each year to my little friends. The name in it of itself had me hooked on this book initially ‘Hooray for Reading Day!’ and then the more I read it, the more I realized how important it is to make sure I constantly build up my little readers’ confidence!
The story is about a student named Jessica who is a big time worrier about everything (which, we all have students like this, right?), but her biggest worry in 1st grade is reading. Her class takes turns reading their stories out loud and when it is her turn to read in her small group, she keeps messing up and the other kids laugh at her. This of course upsets Jessica even more and makes her not want to read at all. Her class is then planning for a readers theater play later in the week and Jessica becomes so worried knowing that she will have to read in front of everyone, including her parents. She practices reading at home with her dog each day so that she will hopefully not mess up and she ends up reading very well. However, at school when she reads in class, she continues to mess up, but her teacher encourages to keep trying each time. On the day of the play, Jessica decides to wear a blanket over her head as her costume and pictures her dog and she ends up reading very well!
Not only is this a wonderful story, but the illustrations are also great! My little friends tend to get very interested in this story because it is a simple story to connect to because most of them get very nervous about reading in general. I do not do “round robin” reading in my guided reading groups, but my little friends will sometimes read to us (when they want to) and they are regularly reading right around each other so they often overhear each other. I absolutely do not tolerate any laughing at another friend in my classroom and I think this is so important to stress in all classrooms so that students can build their confidence as readers and not be afraid to try all those difficult words they run into in all our stories. I spend a lot of my time helping my little friends feel comfortable as they learn to read and do so by frequently encouraging them to try and providing praise so they can take pride in their accomplishments. It is so important to build confidence in readers, especially those struggling readers and to help students realize that each of their accomplishments is a step to becoming a great reader. This story is a perfect way to introduce the idea that each student may struggle, but they will get better with practice and by trying their best. The story truly helps put students at ease when they realize that they aren’t the only ones afraid to read and that they aren’t the only ones having a tough time learning to read.
I have a freebie for you today that I’ll be using this year to help boost my little friends’ confidence. These are reading badges that you can pass on to your students, hang up in your classroom or add popsicle sticks to and have students use them as bookmarks. These badges will provide my little friends’ with a visual reminder that they are becoming great readers to help encourage them to keep trying and get them to enjoy reading. I will first introduce these reading badges in my classroom when I read this story. You can do the same by downloading this freebie here!
I also use this story as a stepping stone to introduce my Super Readers Awards. I’ve talked about these awards before, but my little friends really love their chance to be recognized as a Super Reader. This has majorly helped in building their confidence as each little friend knows that it is a really big deal to earn the Super Reader award! My little friends know that I have to see them trying their best, using our strategies and practicing reading. I love using this story and these awards as a way to build my little friends’ confidence as early readers. You can check out this pack here!
Thanks so much to Amanda and Stacia for hosting this great linky each week– off to find more must read books!