Join the Movement!

Gwen Howard

2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Hull Jackson Montessori Magnet School in Nashville.

That’s how much time my 2nd and 3rd grade classes have read over the past 8 weeks during our literacy challenge at Hull Jackson.

Children with a strong reading background are able to keep up better in other subjects. Reading helps with critical thinking skills and better prepares students to engage in work that requires great focus and clarity.

In the classroom, I take steps to promote the discussion of books. I read the books that they do, like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. We also like to watch the movie version of a book after the students have read it. This is a fun way to see if our visualization of the story was similar to what the director, cinematographer, and screenwriter showed.

It’s important to take reading outside of the classroom too, and I work with parents throughout the year to support their child in reading. For busy parents like myself, I suggest listening to books on CD in the car, and then hitting the pause button to discuss the story.  

Encouraging reading through our literacy challenge this year has had students discussing books more than video games or other entertainment. We have had so many exchanges that I am adding a book report wall for students to recommend a book to a classmate.

Every child, with the proper support, can become a strong reader – and each of us has a role to play. Join me in helping to close the reading proficiency gap in our homes and communities.

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