Reducing the load: 6 tips to promote reading growth

By Lisa Lysne, Senior Product Marketing Manager

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

– Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

There seems to be a Dr. Seuss quote for every occasion in life. Research shows that reading leads students to college, career, and life success. It opens doors and provides students numerous opportunities in life. Oh, the places you’ll go! However, promoting accountable reading practice with a diverse classroom full of students each day is difficult. From matching appropriate reading materials to each student to getting them to read in the first place takes time—time you don’t always have. So how do you do make time each day? How do you make sure students are engaged?

To try and save you time by providing some helpful tips, we asked our Renaissance Royals community how they promote reading growth in their classrooms and highlighted a few of our favorites below:

1. “We have a 90-minute reading block in which we give guided reading practice, small group reading practice, and individual reading time. During the literacy group time, I work with students based upon specific skills which need mastery by those students. The literacy group time is an additional 40-minute reading block we devote to ELA Instruction.”

Penni Robinson
Teacher, Gamewell Elementary School
Lenoir, North Carolina

2. “My reading practice time is the first 20 minutes of the day and then another 20-minute segment during my rotations and then they are instructed to read whenever they are finished with the other activities on the daily agenda. We have our small group lesson and then we discuss what each student has recently read and what they are planning to read next. I give advice or suggestions on how to grow as a reader.”

Renee Graham
Teacher, Columbia Elementary School
Madison, Alabama

3. “Always, there is a 30-minute period dedicated to uninterrupted independent reading. Then centers are in place for students to practice certain skills they need as identified through guided reading or class testing. Students who like to partner read are given strategies to help them become stronger readers together.”

Carly Schwartz
Teacher, Davenport A+ Elementary School
Lenoir, North Carolina

4. “I look at the material provided and what my class/groups need and make adjustments as needed. I also elicit help from our librarian to access additional books if needed. Renaissance often has articles for students that are based on the topic or skill that I can incorporate into the lessons as well. Group students according to needs and find resources for them to use.”

Andrea Wendt
Teacher, Mason Elementary School
Grand Blanc, Michigan

5. “I use mini lessons to teach phonics skills and reading strategies. The mini lessons are approximately 5–7 minutes in length. I meet with all my students individually or in small groups of 2–3. The length of the meetings varies depending on their skill level. I meet with the students with the greatest needs for 10–15 minutes every day. We work on reading and phonics skills, set goals, and create a plan for achieving their goals. Our reading culture is very cohesive and seamless from grade level to grade level.”

Jody Steinhaus
Teacher, Endeavor Elementary School
Endeavor, Wisconsin

6. “We have a scheduled DEAR (drop everything and read) time daily. I provide them with a multitude of books to choose from. As they master a level, I increase the difficulty. We encourage reading in all grade levels and reward their successes individually and as a group.”

Liana Ferrer
Teacher, St. James Catholic School
North Miami, Florida

How do you facilitate reading practice in your classroom? Do you do use any of the strategies mentioned above? What do you do different? Let us know in the comments below, post on our Facebook, or tweet us at @RenLearnUS!

Looking to spark reading growth in your classroom? See how Renaissance Accelerated Reader 360® can help students discover a love for reading and prepare them for college, career, and life success.

Lisa Lysne, Senior Product Marketing Manager
Lisa Lysne, Senior Product Marketing Manager
Lisa Lysne is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Renaissance Accelerated Reader 360®. She grew up in a household passionate about education and reading and has spent her entire career marketing educational solutions in both K-12 and higher education.

19 Comments

  1. Jody Steinhaus says:

    I love improving my craft by learning from fellow educators from around the country.

  2. Rita Platt says:

    It is lovely to know that so many folks are promoting reading!

  3. Andrea says:

    Great ideas and suggestions!

  4. Laura says:

    I love tip 5. I love teaching in small groups at the students level. Mini lessons give them one skill to think about.

  5. Carly says:

    Providing time for independent, guided, and skill-based reading are keys for success!

  6. Heidi says:

    We also have uninterrupted reading block time.

  7. Christina says:

    All excellent! Thanks for the tips fellow royals!

  8. P R says:

    It is great to share ideas and teaching methods with fellow teachers. When I see a method working with the students of my colleagues or become fascinated by a new method I learn about in a conference, I will try those with my students as well and see what works for the group I have at the time. I have found many great ideas through the discussion topics on Renaissance Royals and also the blogs.

  9. Melissa Robles says:

    It is extremely important to provide uninterrupted reading time for our students. I’m excited to see these great things taking place!

  10. Susan says:

    We have a school wide 15 minute everyone, and I mean everyone reads. I take this time and have a student read to me and then we discuss what was just read and make predictions.

  11. Katy says:

    I tryn to read something to my students every day. Even if it is just a funny poem to make them think. And learn to love reading.

  12. David Keech says:

    Promotion of reading is necessary by everyone. It’s great to see reading teachers providing time for kids to independently read.

  13. Lisa Capon says:

    Great ideas!

  14. Dvawn Maza says:

    Good strategies!

  15. Sharla Voepel says:

    All excellent strategies. Hooray, Us!

  16. Laura says:

    Great ideas we use tip 6 at our school (DEAR Time).

  17. Rainean Terry says:

    Our school’s theme this year is “All Students Read.” After every subject, I encourage students to read a book when they are done with an assignment. A fluency center is set-up in my class for students to read as many books as they can.

  18. Laura says:

    Reading is so essential for life. Keep promoting!

  19. Sandra Cunningham says:

    We do a mix of #5 and #6, both great practices for our readers!