This week we began one of our daily reading exercises. It's called "Article-A-Day," and it comes from ReadWorks.org. The procedure is simple: each day the children enter the room, turn in their homework, and get their packet of articles. The packet includes 5 or 6 short articles on the same topic, and the articles get slightly more difficult as they go on. The students read the article of the day, then write one thing they learned in their notebook. Once I check their work, they put their materials away and head to the rug for morning meeting. Each day I choose one person to write what they learned in our class "Book of Knowledge," which is on display at the front of the room.
The students know the purpose of "Article-a-Day." The purpose is to build our reading stamina and gain valuable knowledge while we read. As the year goes on, they will be able to devour these short pieces of writing, becoming more fluent as the year goes on. Some weeks, instead of articles, they will have packets of short stories or poems. Instead of writing something they learned, they will write something they noticed or liked about the work. This daily reading and reflecting will help them not only to become better readers, but as they gain exposure to "good writing," they will also become better writers!
Little people, big minds.