Tips for Epic Reading Engagement - Simply Skilled Teaching

Tips for Epic Reading Engagement

Tips for epic reading engagement

Are you wondering how to promote reading engagement with the students you teach? It’s clear that students who love to read will spend more time independently reading for enjoyment. We’ve all had the experience of losing track of time while engrossed in the pages of a good book; and all we’ve had students who couldn’t be pried away from a captivating story. Reading engagement is an essential factor in reading success; so let’s look at a few simple, fun ways to engage our kiddos and motivate them to read.

The Number One Tool for Reading Engagement During Guided Reading:
It’s all About the Text!

There are tons of fun ways to captivate your kiddos’ interest during Guided Reading small group; but here’s the first and most important rule: It’s all about the texts!

Fountas & Pinnell identifies 7 characteristics of engaging books:

  • Captivating topics
  • High-interest plots
  • Unique characters
  • Global focus
  • A variety of genres
  • Stunning illustrations and photographs
  • Series books with favorite characters

Text Level is Important!

When you select texts for Guided Reading, be sure to look for texts that include the characteristics in the above list. But also keep in mind that reader engagement needs more than just interesting content and colorful illustrations. The level of difficulty of the text also plays a huge role in whether your kiddos are engaged and excited about reading. The leveled texts your students encounter during Guided Reading should be at their instructional level. That means texts should be slightly above the students’ independent reading level. The challenge of the text itself can boost motivation and engagement. You instruction, encouragement and careful scaffolding can help each student meet and conquer reading obstacles. When they find themselves with the confidence to meet reading challenges successfully, they’ll be inspired and excited about the prospect of reading.

Later in this post I’ll share with you the exciting details of Guided Readers. This comprehensive new reading program has hundreds of professionally leveled texts, rigorous lesson plans and word work. You are gonna LOVE it!

Fun Engagement Tools for Guided Reading

There is a prescribed structure for a Guided Reading lesson, including introduction of the text, having students read the text, guiding students in a discussion of the text, explicitly teaching reading and comprehension strategies, and word work. While each lesson should follow that structure, there’s a variety of tools you can use to spark your students’ interest.

Games, question cards, letter blocks and word cubes can make learning fun, and tracking tools such as finger lights, magnifying glasses, googly eyes or witches fingers can help your kiddos track the words they read. Helpful reminders such as Strategy Fans can support decoding and comprehension. The bottom line is to keep your students engaged and interested in the texts they encounter. Click here to view my YouTube video on Guided Reading Tools for Effective and Engaging Instruction.

In addition to games, trackers and manipulatives, don’t forget the element of human interaction. Students enjoy partner talks during book discussions, as well as activities that involve hand motions or movement. Talking sticks are also great tools to use to guide the conversation.

Keeping Students Engaged in Independent Reading at School and at Home

There are a number of fun ways to promote reading engagement both in the classroom and in student homes. Book talks by the teacher and book reviews or “advertisements” by students can generate interest and excitement about reading new books. Giving students choices in the books they select during independent reading time can be a powerful motivator. Be sure to prepare them for this responsibility, though! Give a minilesson on how to choose a “Just Right” book.

My Engage-Its Monthly Reading Engagement Trifolds™ are a fun way to get your students EXCITED about reading at home. Engage-Its add a bit of excitement to the act of reading at home, and they don’t require filling out a page in a boring reading log!

These cute, colorful trifolds give your students the opportunity to become ENGAGED in reading at home. They’ll be reading in various places throughout their house, reading in different and sometimes strange ways, and just having some outright FUN while reading! Each of the 13 Monthly Engage-Its™ included in the bundle has a fun and adorable theme.

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As promised, I am thrilled and excited to introduce to you Guided Readers!

Engaging, Effective and Differentiated Learning at Your Fingertips!

Guided Readers is a comprehensive online GUIDE READING PROGRAM that will provide you will hundreds of professionally leveled guided reading texts, rigorous lesson plans and word work instruction that is based on BEST practices in literacy instruction.

One of the best parts of Guided Readers is the Digital Interactive Reader that will provide your students with oral comprehension, decoding and fluency, like never before. Guided Readers is the most effective digital interactive experience you can give your students to support literacy and learning.

All Guided Readers leveled books are professionally leveled through our partnership with Fountas & Pinnell and The fiction books have beautiful illustrations by professional illustrators; and the nonfiction books feature the highest-quality and most eye-catching photographs you can find! There are already hundreds of leveled readers already on the site, with 20-30 books being added reach week! Books ranging from levels A- Q are currently on the site, and levels R-Z will be added in the upcoming months. There are 3 affordable program plans, now at special introductory prices!

Are you ready to engage your students and rock your Guided Reading instruction? Get Guided Readers!

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Anna DiGilio


I'm Anna DiGilio

Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!



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Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!

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