Learning, Leading, and Loving Literacy

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Celebrating Summer Reading at NSES!

Today was one of our favorite days of the year- the day we celebrate all the reading that the students at NSES did this summer!  Here are some quick stats about the Summer Reading Challenge:

  • Overall, the students at NSES read 54,695 minutes – that’s 912 hours!
  • Students in Kindergarten read 3,190 minutes or 53 hours!
  • Students in Grade 1 read 8,335 minutes or 139 hours!
  • Students in Grade 2 read 23,438 minutes or 390 hours – wow!
  • Students in our 2 third grades read 19,732 minutes or 329 hours!

To celebrate, we held a gathering this morning where we shared some of our favorite books.  Each student who participated received a certificate, pencil, and applause (of course!).  We honored our top grade level readers with a gift card to Barnes and Noble.  We ended our celebration with a short dance party, because every celebration needs a little music!  See some pictures below of our top readers as well as some photos of our celebration.

Remember, reading is something we can celebrate every day!  We’re hoping to keep our enthusiasm for reading high as we enter the 2015-2016 school year…let us know what your favorite books are and we’ll share!

Mrs. Jolin with Emily Smith, our top Kindergarten reader who read 1200 minutes this summer!

Mrs. Jolin with Emily Smith, our top Kindergarten reader who read 1200 minutes this summer!


Mrs. Jolin with Brielle Baillargeon, our top Grade 1 reader who read 1,500 minutes this summer!


Mrs. Jolin with our top Grade 2 reader, Amelia Marseglia who read 1,740 minutes this summer!


Mrs. Jolin with our top Grade 3 reader, Teagan McMahon who read 6,930 minutes this summer – that’s 116 hours!


Summer Reading Rocks!


Those smiles are because these girls love to read!


Amelia loves to read!


Helping us celebrate with some dancing!

NSES Launches the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge!

Yay!  Today we held an assembly for all students at NSES to launch our 2015 Summer Reading Challenge!  Students are challenged to read at least 60 minutes per week (or more!) during school vacation.  Students who complete this challenge will be invited to a special celebration in the fall and they will have a chance to win prizes for all their effort.

We also had Miss Renee, the North Smithfield Public Librarian, visit as a guest speaker to talk about her special summer reading program.  All the reading you do can count for both our programs! You can check out the special public library programs and activities at NS Public Library.

Look for your special Reading Log and pledge for the Summer Reading Challenge coming home today.  You can also complete the reading log online using the tabs at the top of this page.

Like any skill, practice makes better and reading practice is always fun.  Look for our announcement about the NSES Book Swap next week…..we want to be sure everyone has plenty of books to read, read, read!

Reaching Reluctant Readers

I subscribe to several teaching related blogs and the one I read this morning (and included below) reminded me what we need to do for our reluctant readers every day. Although it may be frustrating to constantly push reluctant readers to read, it is something we need to do and do cheerfully, consistently, and tenaciously.  It’s exactly what they need from us.

Practiced Avoidance 

by Lori Sabo

You are going to judge me and you will be completely justified in doing so.

I have a shoulder impingement injury. I have been assigned stretches and exercises, which if practiced daily will lessen the pain and bring back my range of movement, yet I don’t do them. They aren’t very hard. They don’t even take very long. I don’t have a single good reason for avoiding them.

How is it better to live with stabs of pain so intense that I go from being a normal woman to one with circling cartoon stars of pain above my head? How is it better to live for months, careful not to make movements that cause mind-numbing, nearly faint-inducing pain? It isn’t. I get it. It isn’t.

All of you with healthy bodies are thinking, That doesn’t make sense. Just do the moves and get better. And you are right. See, I knew you’d judge me.

But until one of my loved ones steps in to hold me accountable, or until I decide that I am tired of the complete lack of improvement, the stretchy purple band and illustrated list of moves collects dust while I practice avoidance.

So now I know.

Now I know and can relate to that special brand of reluctant reader who wants to be proficient, but doesn’t read. They have what they need in their book boxes, but avoid engaging with text. They are given time to practice, but don’t use it. It doesn’t make any sense. And time after time, they shrug and say they don’t know why they don’t read, they just don’t.

But being a nonreader is a pain inducing experience we can’t allow. So until our reluctant readers become voracious and independent readers, we must assess accurately, instruct wisely, support and scaffold brilliantly, check in with daily, cheer on optimistically, and tenaciously impart the message that reading is a superpower they must have for themselves. No judgment, just understanding and the message that they are too important to let slip through the cracks

More Reading, Please!

Parents and teachers know that we should encourage our children to read as much as possible.  Fostering a love for reading is one of the primary goals of my reading instruction because I know students who love reading will be more motivated to read both in and out of school.  The amount children read, also known as reading volume, has a direct and positive effect on their achievement, vocabulary development, cognitive abilities, and knowledge of the world around them (Cunningham & Zibulsky, 2013).

In fact, the amount of time that students spend reading outside of school is the best predictor of reading achievement (Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988), as evidenced by the chart below:

Variation in Amount of Independent Reading

Of course, students should read in school as well, but generally, students spend 900 hours a year in school versus 7,800 hours outside of school.  Ideally, children should be reading both in and out of school for the best results.

So how can you encourage your child to read at home?  Here are a few tips:

  • Make reading part of the nightly routine.  Aside from homework, set aside a few minutes each night to share a book, story, or article.
  • Model good reading practices.  If you model how to make reading a priority, your kids will notice.
  • Talk about books.  Ask your children about the stories you’re reading and tell them about what you are reading.  Make conversations about books a regular part of their day.
  • Get them hooked on reading!  Ask your child’s teachers or other parents about books or series that may interest your child. Reading a series allows kids to become familiar with the characters and may encourage them to want to read more.
  • Make reading rewarding.  Make it a special event to get a new book, take a trip to the library, or spend time with you while reading.  The more positive associations kids have around reading, the more likely they are to read on their own because it feels good.


Anderson, R.C., Wilson, P.T., Fielding, L.G. (1988). “Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of

school.” Reading Research Quarterly, No. 23, pp. 285-303.

Cunningham, A. & Zibulsky, J. (2013). Book Smart: How to develop and support successful, motivated readers. New York:

Oxford University Press.

Everyone is a reader….


Hoping you find some new favorites this week! Happy Reading Week 2015!