Thursday, 24 July 2014

Cheap & Cheerful Tools for Reading FUN!

I looked around my classroom today as my kidlets were busy with their book boxes and it warmed my heart to see them totally engaged with their reading.  All of them - even my tricky characters - had found themselves a comfortable spot and were absorbed in their books.  At that point, I was completely unnecessary to them and it's the happiest I've been in ages. :) I love that my kidlets love to read, but they don't always start the school year out feeling like that.  I thought I'd share a few DIY tools that I use along the way to keep reading fun and motivation high.

Graphics From the Pond and KG Fonts made this quote look cute!
My kidlets keep their books in cardboard magazine files with personalised labels.  They are always excited to choose new books and treat their book box super carefully - the fact that it's theirs helps to make reading time all the more exciting.  Our classroom library is small but choosing books is always fun!  My kidlets choose a combination of levelled readers, picture books and non-fiction books to keep for the week.

Let's start with the basics - everyone knows that to do your very best reading, you need to wear your reading glasses!  Grab yourself some dollar store sunglasses (from the party loot section), pop the lenses out and you've got yourself some colourful specs.

I'm sure you would have seen these guys on Pinterest - Whisper Phones!  You can grab the pieces of pipe from a hardware store, but I put a request out to see if anyone knew a plumber who had offcuts that I could use.  One of my kidlets had an uncle who not only donated the pipes, but glued them together for me! (I sent a photo home to show what I was hoping to make.)  I just added some rainbow duct tape to pretty them up.

These are great to help with fluency and expression during independent reading time - kidlets can hear their voices even if they are whispering and adjust their tone, pace etc. to make their reading 'sound like a story'.

Next up is an easy idea that can end up being completely free!  Reading Buddies are simply cuddly toys that are available for kidlets to read to.  They just love reading a story to a buddy - again, awesome practice for fluency and expression and a real confidence booster for reluctant readers at the beginning of the year.  I sent a note home to parents last year and within a week had more than 25 gorgeous toys donated for the library, some of them brand new. :)

I use a variety of pointers in Guided Reading to help with tracking and place-keeping, as well for kidlets to point to sight words, punctuation, letters etc.  Most of them I bought from the dollar store!

Craft sticks + googly eyes.

Magic wands.

Magnifying glasses.

Small torches.

I hope that you picked up a few ideas to use. :) Do you have any cheap & cheerful reading tools that you like to use in your classroom?  I'd love hear them! 

1 comment:

  1. Such great ideas, Lauren! And what a great feeling to see all your kids happily practicing their learning. My kiddoes aren't so comfortable with reading, but I get this feeling in maths instead.

    I have little finger puppets that are two googley eyes attached together that wrap around students' fingers. They love using them to 'help their reading'!

    Luck's Little Learners


Thanks for popping by!