Hey! Welcome to Day Five of Celebrate Reading on The Inspired Apple! This month has kicked off strong, with lots of ideas, activities, and even a giveaway that are ALL related to reading!
Today, we’re going to talk about setting up a Guest Reader Program in your classroom. My kindergarteners and first graders absolutely LOVED this program, as did the family members that came into our classroom to be our reader.
I am a BIG proponent of having guest readers in our classroom for several reasons. First of all, it’s one way to bridge the gap between home and school. Parents, grandparents, and even older siblings were always welcomed to be a guest reader and their student was always OVER THE MOON when they had a family member show up in the classroom to read. Secondly, our little readers need to have good reading models in their lives and while, of course, the teacher is always representing this, it is so impactful to have a family member share its importance, too. And, lastly, it allows family to invest in their child’s school day and share in this unique experience, ultimately making the child feel special. You can’t beat that!
As a teacher, I loved this program for all of the aforementioned reasons, too, but I also liked that it was extremely easy to set up and requires very little prep on the teacher’s end. I typically sent home a letter about it at the beginning of the year, though you can really start at any time during the school year. I organized it so that we had one guest reader per week.
Here’s the steps for setting up the program:
Send home an introductory letter that explains the program and asks for Guest Reader volunteers.
After you’ve collected the volunteer interest forms, you can pick the dates and times for your guest readers based on the information they sent back to you. Then, complete the follow-up form with the specific date and time you chose. and send it back home with the child.
As you collect guest readers and send home the follow-up form, complete this Guest Reader Log so that you have a working spreadsheet of those who will be coming and on what day/time. There’s also a spot to fill out to indicate whether or not your guests have their volunteer form on file with the school or county. Be sure to check on your individual school’s policy about guests in the classroom!
After the Guest Reader has visited your classroom, be sure to teach your kiddos about gratitude and send home Thank You notes from your students.
That’s it! You and your kids will love it. I promise, this is a program that everyone benefits from!
If you’d like to grab a copy so that you can implement this program in your classroom, grab it from the form below.
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