For the Love of Reading!
Creating a culture of readers centers around the classroom library. The classroom library provides students with access to a wide range of high-interest fiction and nonfiction texts. Developing the classroom library most often is left to the teacher, diminishing school budgets, and sometimes through donations.
Research supports what teachers have always known, students who read more achieve more.
Teachers can support student’s reading habits by having them interact with texts daily through read -a- loud’s and classroom libraries. The classroom bookshelves need to be filled with multiple genres and high-interest texts for all levels of students within the classroom.
When students read widely, they increase their vocabulary, their ability to read, and their knowledge of the world expands. Providing students the opportunity to access and choose (access to a wide selection of reading materials in their favorite genres and topics) to develop the “wonder and joy of reading that can only be derived from reading” (Fletcher & Lyon, 1998).
Duke (2000) found a scarcity of a text rich environment in over 20 classrooms she visited. Most of the classrooms had limited to no access to trade books, as well as, informational texts overall, but particularly in the low-socioeconomic-status schools. The classrooms contained relatively few informational texts in their libraries, on their walls, or on other surfaces. The academic success of students should not be related to their socio-economic status.
There is significant research to support the importance of a rich balanced classroom library that is easily accessible and motivates students to want to read more.
“Research shows reading trade books produces reading achievement across a wide spectrum of measurements: knowledge base, language development, comprehension skills, story sequencing, vocabulary, reading fluency, linguistic competence, confidence to move on to more sophisticated and difficult reading, improved spelling and writing quality, and improved use of language mechanics”. (Caldwell & Gaine, 2000; Cantrell, 1999; Fredericks, 1992; Farris & Hancock, 1991; Taylor, Frye & Maruyama, 1990; Krashen, 1989)
Enhance Your Classroom Library!
Kent Intermediate School District values and appreciates our teachers. We want to help support and encourage reading in Kent County classrooms! Please complete this quick informational survey and let us know why your classroom should win the library resources!
Five classrooms will be selected to enhance their classroom library with up to $400 of resources to encourage the love of reading!
This blog post was written by Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt, Director of Teaching and Learning for Kent ISD, Teresa McDougall of Grandville Public Schools and edited by Amanda Walma, Professional Learning Coordinator for Kent ISD.