The first day of school is a whirlwind. We think about and have likely lost sleep over planning the details of what we will say and do. There are so many wonderful first day of school activities. But, this year, I am planning to do something that I usually wait a few days in to introduce.
Why? What you do on the first day will truly set the tone for the year. I want my students to know that reading is one of our top priorities in our classroom. I want them to know that no matter what we have planned in our day, we will make time for reading. Even if we only make it 2 minutes, we will spend time on the first day relaxing with a good book.
I know teaching procedures for your classroom library, reading centers and how to choose a good fit book are all necessary. You might hesitate to just start independent reading without setting down the foundation of expectations. But, I encourage you to find a way to start your class reading independently as soon as possible. I will still teach all of my procedures and routines for those things. Having them read from day 1 is not going to compromise that.
And I also believe that in order to accomplish this goal, we need to communicate that importance by sitting down with a book every. single. day. This is crucial since some students may have gone all summer without touching a book (so sad but true!).
It is my goal every school year to read 1 quality read aloud and from a chapter book each day. You can check out some of my favorite 2nd grade read aloud chapter books here. I also believe in letting kids read with no strings attached. Our daily independent read aloud time is for enjoyment. I don’t require a reading log or graphic organizer to be completed. I would encourage you to do the same even if it’s just 5-10 minutes per day!