As a school we are developing our first School Improvement Plan that will contain goals related to literacy and numeracy. Our staff spent time on the last P.A day discussing some goals for the year as well in relation to the learners we teach each day. As teams, we determined that an important area of our work this year will be on reading.
As a board, and as a province, we focus on three overall goals for our readers: fluency, comprehension and motivation. I wanted to spend some time thinking about the last component: motivation. I believe it is a very important component to success. I also believe that one of the most important things you can do as a parent or guardian is to help your children read for pleasure. Whatever you can give each day to support children reading for pleasure I believe will pay off in significant ways.
As a staff, we will spend a lot of time supporting students develop their fluency (the ability to identify words accurately and read text with ease and with proper pace) and comprehension (the ability to understand, reflect on, and learn from text). You can too as parents, but I believe helping your children fall in love with reading itself is critical. EQAO has also started to track “attitudinal data” in addition to achievement data. We want our students saying that they like to read “most of the time” (if not always!). When it comes to motivation, everything counts:
- Do you enjoy reading the sports column? Be sure to share it with your child and ask them to share with you.
- Did you just purchase a new piece of equipment for the home with a manual to follow? Invite your child to learn along with you how to use it.
- Do you love to cook? Ask your child to pull up a chair next to you and review the recipe you are about to try.
- Take ten minutes and read a book you love in front of your child. Invite him or her to do the same with their favorite book.
As families, let’s do whatever we can to spark the love of reading in our students. We’re here to help too. Through our classroom books that may be sent home for reading, to weekly visits to our Discovery Hub and through classroom discussions students explore texts in different ways. We can also recommend ways to engage your children in reading. The Ministry of Education also has some tips for families.
“Read to Succeed”; it will be a message we repeat often this year.
Read for pleasure has already been shared at our first assembly with students. I now have students coming up to me, telling me what they are reading for pleasure – awesome!
Be sure to ask them yourselves and to share back what they love to read.
When it comes to reading, we can be incredible role models.