Silent Stamina...I think Not!

We have been working very hard on building that stamina that at seems so elusive in first grade for "silent reading."

It is the first thing we do every morning. We come in, put our binders away, pick up our book bins, open our “good fit books” and read.
I like starting my day this way because it sets the tone for the rest of the day, and let’s face the biggest chunk of our day in first grade is reading. It also gives me time to unload binders of notes, take the lunch count, attendance, and get my thoughts in order. It is time for my kiddos to settle in and practice building that sought after stamina. My few that take AR right now can take their tests, check out new books, and record their scores.
It has taken A LOT of practice this year to get the stamina and practice part to kick in, but the other morning I took a moment to look around, and my heart warmed. They were reading! All of them. Readingor at least acting like they were readingwhich is good enough for me right now. I quickly got out my phone and grabbed a quick video. It was too cute the way some of them were “reading like the teacher.” And of course it is anything but silent!

Another way I like to squeeze reading into our day is with my morning message, and now that we have to “post” what our kiddos will be learning each day, it is a good opportunity to “tell them” what they will be learning. I like things simple and easy and this covers both. I have the common core standards posted that we are learning, but really I can be covering the same standard in a variety of ways for weeks. So to simplify it for my kiddos- and me, I write it out in a morning message on the board. The messages look something like this:
                          Good Morning Kiddos!
                Today is Monday, October 22, 2012.
Today we will be finding nouns and            modifying them with adjectives in sentences. We will discovering character traits in our stories, and finding the main idea. In math we will work on counting on by two. Use your journal to write about something fun you did on fall break.  
I always pick a kiddo to read it to the class after our "silent reading." Sometimes I don’t get the message up until the kiddos are already reading, and it warms my heart to hear them read along as I write.

Parent teacher conferences are the week, YAY :/ sarcasm inserted here. I have to say though our school does have some amazing parents. This year Mr. Principal said we could do our conferences the evenings before conference day (Friday) which means a couple of late evenings, but Friday OFF!
Do you post your targeted learning goals in your classroom? If so how do you connect them to learning for your kiddos? My next goal is simplifying all that data keepingthere has to be an easier (and less time consuming) way for my firsties to gather and understand all this data that’s supposed to make them better learners. Really?        



  1. A classroom full of the sound of independent readers is a wonderful thing!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I loved the video, they were too busy to even notice that you were making a video. I have not been consistent with my reading stamina. I plan to get in a better routine after Fall Break (we still have another week). I love the idea of sharing objectives in your morning message, I may have to copy that.

    This year I have had problems doing some of the things I did with my class last year. They are a very inmature group. When they are in centers, they fuss and bicker with each other. I've felt like giving up on centers, but I'll perservere. Thanks for the inspiration!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher
    Kelly @

  3. Glad your stamina building efforts are paying off! Sometimes it just depends on the group. Last year, it took forever for my kids to get the hang of quiet reading. This year, it was quick and easy.
    Funky First Grade Fun

  4. You have a wonderful class, looks like you can take them far! I enjoy your posts, I can feel the high quality of teaching in the classroom...!
    Amy Howbert

    Little Miss Organized

  5. Love the video! Read to self is going fairly well in my class except for my "barometer" child, the one The Sisters say can disrupt stamina building for the class. Still working with that little guy! But they are definitely not "silent" reading! It is so cute to listen to them though, especially when they try out reading with expression!
    Still Teaching After All These Years

  6. I am soooo glad you shared that video, it sounds just as silent as my class. I thought it was just me, but their reading, and thats good enough for me, too!

    First Grade Journal