Independent Reading: How to End a Class and Encourage Preschoolers to Read on their Own
As an educator or parent, ending a class or a study session can be challenging. You want to make sure that you’re sending your preschoolers off with something to think about or work on, but you also want to make sure that you’re not just assigning more work. One way to do this is to encourage independent reading. Independent reading not only helps preschoolers develop their literacy skills but also fosters a love for reading. In this article, we will discuss what to say to end a class and encourage preschoolers to read on their own.
Why Independent Reading is Important for Preschoolers
Independent reading is important for preschoolers because it helps them develop important literacy skills such as phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension. According to research, preschoolers who engage in independent reading have a better chance of developing a lifelong love for reading, which is essential for academic success. Independent reading also helps preschoolers develop critical thinking skills, as they learn to analyze and interpret text on their own.
How to Encourage Independent Reading
There are several ways to encourage independent reading in preschoolers. Here are some effective strategies:
1. Create a Reading Culture
Creating a reading culture in your classroom or home is an excellent way to encourage preschoolers to read independently. This can be achieved by setting up a cozy reading corner with a comfortable chair, soft lighting, and a selection of books. You can also display posters and banners that promote reading and literacy. Creating a reading culture in your classroom or at home is an important step in encouraging preschoolers to read independently. Here are some ways you can create a reading culture:
● Reading Aloud
Reading aloud to preschoolers is an excellent way to introduce them to new stories and authors. It also helps to develop their listening and comprehension skills. You can read aloud from a variety of books, including picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books. Be sure to choose books that are appropriate for their age and interests.
● Access to Books
Having access to a variety of books is essential in creating a reading culture. Ensure that your classroom or home has a well-stocked library that contains books that are age-appropriate and of interest to preschoolers. Consider allowing preschoolers to take books home to read with their families.
● Reading Challenges
Reading challenges are a fun way to encourage preschoolers to read independently. You can create reading challenges that are based on specific genres, authors or themes. Be sure to include a variety of books and offer incentives for preschoolers who meet the reading challenge.
● Reading Buddies
Pairing preschoolers with reading buddies is an excellent way to encourage independent reading. Reading buddies can be older students or adults who can model good reading habits and offer support and encouragement.
2. Model Good Reading Habits
Preschoolers are great imitators, and they learn best by example. Therefore, it’s essential to model good reading habits in front of them. Show them that reading is enjoyable and something that you do every day. You can also read aloud to them and engage them in discussions about the book. Preschoolers learn best by example. Therefore, it’s essential to model good reading habits when encouraging independent reading. Here are some ways you can model good reading habits:
● Read Aloud
Reading aloud to preschoolers is not only a great way to introduce them to new stories, but it’s also an excellent way to model good reading habits. Be sure to read with expression, make connections to the story and ask questions to encourage comprehension.
● Read in Front of Them
Preschoolers learn best when they see adults engaging in activities. Reading in front of them demonstrates that reading is an essential part of everyday life. Consider reading a book or a newspaper in front of them during free time or downtime.
● Discuss What You’re Reading
Discussing what you’re reading with preschoolers is an excellent way to model good reading habits. It allows them to see that reading is not just about decoding words but also about understanding and connecting with the text. Ask questions such as “What do you think will happen next?” or “Why do you think the character made that decision?” This encourages preschoolers to think critically about what they’re reading.
● Share Your Favourite Books
Sharing your favourite books with preschoolers is an excellent way to introduce them to new authors and genres. It also helps to create a connection between you and the preschoolers. Be sure to explain why you enjoy the book and encourage them to share their favourite books with you.
3. Give Them Choice
Giving preschoolers a choice of what to read is crucial for promoting independent reading. Allow them to select books that interest them, and don’t limit their choices based on their reading level. Encourage them to explore different genres and authors and let them know that it’s okay if they don’t finish a book. Giving preschoolers choice is an important aspect of encouraging independent reading. Here are some ways you can give preschoolers choice:
● Library Time
During library time, allow preschoolers to choose their own books to read. Encourage them to choose books that they’re interested in and that they’ll enjoy reading.
● Book Clubs
Creating book clubs is an excellent way to give preschoolers choice. Book clubs can be based on specific genres or themes. Allow preschoolers to choose the books they want to read and encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions with the group.
● Book Recommendations
Provide preschoolers with book recommendations based on their interests. Be sure to offer a variety of books and genres to choose from. Encourage preschoolers to share their thoughts and opinions on the books they’ve read.
4. Set Goals
Setting reading goals is an excellent way to motivate preschoolers to read independently. You can set achievable goals such as reading a certain number of books or pages within a week or a month. Celebrate their achievements and reward them with stickers, bookmarks, or small treats.
5. Read Together
Reading together is a great way to encourage independent reading. You can take turns reading aloud, discuss the book, and ask questions. This helps preschoolers develop their comprehension skills and encourages them to think critically about the text.
● Shared Reading
Shared reading is when an adult and a preschooler read together. The adult reads a sentence or paragraph, and the preschooler repeats it. This helps to develop fluency and comprehension skills.
● Guided Reading
Guided reading is when an adult works with a small group of preschoolers, providing support and guidance as they read independently. This allows preschoolers to receive individualised support and feedback.
● Buddy Reading
Buddy reading is when two preschoolers read together. This allows them to practice their reading skills and provides opportunities for discussion and support.
Encouraging independent reading in preschoolers is crucial in developing their critical literacy skills and a love for reading. Creating a reading culture, modelling good reading habits, giving them choice, and reading together are all effective ways to encourage independent reading. When ending a class or study session, it’s important to end on a positive note and remind preschoolers of the joy that comes from reading. Encouraging preschoolers to choose a book, setting a reading goal, reminding them to ask for help, and reinforcing the love for reading are all effective ways to end a class on a positive note. By doing so, we can encourage preschoolers to become lifelong readers who enjoy exploring new books and ideas.
What to Say to End a Class and Encourage Independent Reading
Now that we have discussed why independent reading is important and how to encourage it, let’s look at what to say to end a class and encourage preschoolers to read independently.
1. End on a Positive Note
It’s important to end the class on a positive note. Reinforce the idea that reading is enjoyable and something that they can do on their own. For example, you could say, “I hope you all had fun today. Remember, reading is something that you can do on your own, and it’s a great way to learn new things and have fun.”
2. Remind Them of the Importance of Independent Reading
Remind preschoolers of the importance of independent reading. You could say something like, “Remember, reading on your own is an excellent way to become a better reader and to learn new things. It’s something that you can do anywhere and it can be a lot of fun.”
3. Encourage Them to Choose a Book
Encourage preschoolers to choose a book that they would like to read on their own. You could say, “Before you go, take a moment to choose a book that you would like to read on your own. Remember to choose something that you’re interested in and that you’ll enjoy reading.”
4. Set a Reading Goal
Set a reading goal for preschoolers to work towards before the next class or study session. For example, you could say, “Before our next class, try to read at least one book on your own. If you finish it, you can tell us all about it when we meet again.”
5. Remind Them to Ask for Help
Remind preschoolers that they can always ask for help if they need it. You could say, “If you have any questions or need help with a word, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to help you become better readers.”
6. Reinforce the Love for Reading
Finally, reinforce the love for reading by reminding preschoolers of the joy that comes from reading. You could say, “Remember, reading is not just about learning new things, it’s also about having fun and enjoying the stories that we read. Keep reading and exploring new books!”
Independent reading is an essential skill for preschoolers to develop, as it helps them develop critical literacy skills and a love for reading. Encouraging preschoolers to read independently can be achieved through creating a reading culture, modelling good reading habits, giving them choice, setting goals, and reading together. When ending a class or study session, it’s important to end on a positive note, remind them of the importance of independent reading, encourage them to choose a book, set a reading goal, remind them to ask for help, and reinforce the love for reading. By doing so, we can encourage preschoolers to become lifelong readers who enjoy exploring new books and ideas.
Setting Reading Goals
Setting reading goals is an effective way to encourage preschoolers to read independently. Here are some tips for setting reading goals:
1. Make it Achievable
Be sure to set reading goals that are achievable for preschoolers. Consider their reading level and interests when setting goals.
2. Celebrate Success
When preschoolers meet their reading goals, be sure to celebrate their success. This can be done through a variety of means, such as verbal praise or a small prize.
3. Encourage Persistence
Encourage preschoolers to persist even if they don’t meet their reading goals. Remind them that the process of reading is just as important as the end result.
Reminding Them to Ask for Help
It’s important to remind preschoolers that it’s okay to ask for help when they’re reading independently. Here are some ways to do so:
1. Reinforce that Asking for Help is Okay
Remind preschoolers that it’s okay to ask for help if they’re struggling with a word or passage. Reinforce that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
2. Provide Resources
Provide preschoolers with resources to help them when they’re reading independently. This can include a dictionary, a thesaurus, or a reading comprehension worksheet.
3. Encourage Collaboration
Encourage preschoolers to work together and help each other when they’re reading independently. This fosters a sense of community and provides opportunities for peer support.
Reinforcing the Love for Reading
Reinforcing the love for reading is an essential aspect of ending a class on independent reading. Here are some ways to reinforce the love for reading:
1. Encourage Preschoolers to Share their Thoughts
Encourage preschoolers to share their thoughts and opinions on the books they’re reading. This allows them to connect with the text and reinforces the joy that comes from reading.
2. Provide Opportunities for Creative Expression
Provide opportunities for preschoolers to express their creativity through reading. This can include creating their own stories or illustrations based on a book they’ve read.
3. Create a Positive Environment
Create a positive environment that fosters a love for reading. This can be done through displays of books and reading materials, as well as positive feedback and reinforcement for reading achievements.
By implementing these strategies, we can help preschoolers develop a love for reading and the confidence to read independently. Ending a class on a positive note, reminding preschoolers of the joy of reading, and encouraging them to ask for help are all essential components of this process. With the right support and encouragement, preschoolers can become lifelong readers who enjoy exploring new books and ideas.