At the beginning of each school year, in addition to learning new classroom procedures and routines, we go over the homework expectation for the year. Students tend to accept the math and spelling homework, but continue to question the (arguably) most important task. “Do I really have to do my reading minutes?” is a question I love to hear because a teaching moment ensues.
I keep this graphic stored on my computer for moments when this question is brought up at the beginning of the year (and again in the middle…and maybe even in May). It breaks down a study that looked at three different students: Student A, Student B, and Student C, respectively. Student A reads 20 minute a day, Student B reads 5 minutes a day, and Student C reads 1 minute a day. From there, the numbers speak for themselves. Student A experiences over a million more words in a year than Students B and C combined. In turn, student A does better in school which likely leads to a more positive attitude and liking towards school.
By this point, students are typically convinced that this is not a subject worth using their negotiating skills on, and accept that yes, the 20 minutes each night are required AND worth it.
A 5th grader’s list of books to hook resistant readers:
- The Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- The Last Kids on Earth series by Max Brallier
- Hatchet by Gary Paulson
- The Cupcake Diaries series by Coco Simon
- Smile by Raina Telgemeier
This blog was written by Annie McKeighan, 4th grade teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska who works with Connect Pediatric Therapy