As we get ready for lots of testing in May, my kids are reading a lot. They are doing lots of comprehension papers and they have to read the passage and all questions by themselves. They have been doing one a day for a couple of weeks to help build up their stamina. For the most part, they are doing really well. Some of my lower readers don't know some of the words, but they have learned testing skills to try and sound out the word and then to skip if if he/she can't figure it out. Most of them have learned that they can figure out what a word means by the other words around it.
Anyway, I have them do the passage and questions all by themselves, then I talk with any who missed some questions and explain the skill they missed. This seems to be helping as they are missing fewer correct answers overall.
Friday, my class begins the FAIR test (Reading skills test in Florida) and next week they will take the GATES test and they have to read it all by themselves. I think they will do very well if they just try to do their best. I will try to keep things positive and help them believe they will do well. They are easily influenced at this age.
Concerning stamina, here is a picture of a Daily 5 bulletin board in my classroom.
We have worked on this all year to help build stamina in reading. For a while, we graphed how many minutes everyone in the class could focus on reading before someone got off task. Eventually, we got to over 25 minutes regularly. All of my kids have become wonderful readers! They are at different levels, but I am very proud of all of them. Today, on the way back from the library, I had 5 kids who kept opening their library books to read as they walked. I know they're not supposed to be opening the books as they walk, I just couldn't fuss at them for wanting to read.