Additional Reading Ideas for Primary Students

I am popping in today to write a quick blog post about the additional reading activities that I've been doing in my grade 3 PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategy) class. I wrote about some JK/SK reading ideas HERE.

As mentioned a few posts ago, I have returned from maternity leave in a new position. I am really enjoying the change of pace and grateful for a new opportunity to learn and see things through a different lens. 

With that being said (and as mentioned in my 2 posts ago), I am restricted to a limited amount "additional" activities, if any. However, I am a big advocate of doing what's best for kids and getting them excited about learning... especially reading. 

First off, I use a ticket system. For the months of February and March, I rotated around and distributed tickets to students when I heard PALS rules being used properly, when students were positive with one another, when they were able to retell, predict, and answer comprehension questions, etc. Students wrote their names on the back of each ticket they earned and put them away. I announced when the draw would be held. I then purchased a variety of prizes and placed them in front of paper bags or buckets. Students then dropped their tickets in the prizes they hoped to win. I would draw a name for each prize.

This month, I have divided the students into 5 teams. They still earn tickets, but the team with the highest will win a prize, instead of a 'draw' scenario. 

So, here is what our weeks looks like: 

Monday- Partner Reading 
We complete the PALS program. Students are in partners and have books at their own reading level. 
Tuesday- Tech Tuesday
I choose and project a Tumble Book (through my library membership), or send a story for my students to read through their mytools2go (Google) Accounts. I still complete the PALS program, but there is a lot of whole groups learning, modelling and additional discussions. I make it a game-- Answering questions, earning tickets etc. 

I also use these sites:
Storyline Online 

TIME for Kids

Wednesday- Partner Reading (see Monday).

Thursday- Teacher Choice
On Thursday's I like to change things up. Here are a few of the activities and resources I use:

Sight Words/Antonyms/Synonyms/Homophones/Plurals etc.

GAME: Speed
1. I split the class up into teams. 
2. I tape a piece of chart paper on the wall around the room for each team. (You want them far enough apart where the other team can't see the others paper). 
3. I write the topic I am covering at the top of the chart paper. 
4. Time them for 1-2 minutes (sometimes this will be longer such as 3-4 minutes until everyone has a turn, but they think they only have one minute). 
5. Each person writes a vocabulary word and passes the marker to the next person. They are not allowed to talk while doing this. (They cannot write something that has already been written.)
6. They have 1-2 minutes to write as many words as they can. 
7. When the time is up, the person holding the marker brings it to you. 
8. I give each team one ticket each for having the correct words. 

High Interest Reading (Small or Whole Group)
During the last TPT sale I picked up some great close reading packs *here and *here. There are high interest reading pages, with varying reading levels. We use these to discuss reading strategies, challenging vocabulary, comprehension and more. 

There are also digital media sources that I use to compare texts. 

GAME: Boggle Boards

I also use these cards (HEREHERE & HERE). 

Friday- JK/SK Buddy Read 
On Friday's we do PALS with some JK/SK friends. My grade 3 group gets to share their reading abilities, help teach and guide the little learners. It's awesome to witness. 
I definitely have additional reading activities to share, which I will do once I try them out in the classroom.

My ultimate goal is to make reading fun. I want the kids in my class to get excited about reading. I hate when reading gets mundane. I like how the students have a sense of wonder..... not knowing what some days will hold. The sense of mystery is very powerful and motivating. 

Have a great week :)