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Tips for Teachers and Classroom Resources

Free Downloads Your Students Will Love for D.E.A.R. Day

By Meaghan Maldonado, MEd

Between required curriculum and mandated testing, it can often feel like there aren’t many opportunities to fit in enriching, fundamental activities like reading. However, the “Drop Everything and Read,” (or D.E.A.R.) movement hopes to encourage students, families, and educators to immerse themselves in reading.

D.E.A.R. was inspired by Beverly Cleary (who wrote about the concept in her book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8) and it is officially celebrated on Cleary’s birthday, April 12th.

How to Celebrate D.E.A.R. Day

You may choose to engage in a one-day celebration on April 12th.  There’s also the chance to engage your students in a month-long initiative to read throughout the month of April.  You can even create a year-long daily routine at home or in the classroom for reading and reflection. Whatever the case may be, D.E.A.R. hopes to instill an appreciation for the world of books. With that in mind, here are some great resources to get you and your students ready for D.E.A.R Day.

Downloads for a D.E.A.R. Day Celebration

The movement’s website includes a wide variety of resources from study guides for Beverly Cleary books, to graphic organizers, to stickers, bookmarks, and certificates.

Reading Rockets’ D.E.A.R. page includes Common Core-aligned activities, resources for teachers to incorporate silent reading into their school day, and downloads to host a D.E.A.R. event such as invitations and flyers.

Tips to Encourage Reading

If your school has a large number of Spanish-speaking students, the sponsor Colorín Colorado also has tips to increase reading motivation. They also provide a list of suggested authors and books (available in English and Spanish). If you’re trying to encourage family reading time, they also offer tips for families to read with their children in their native language.

Recommended Book Lists

James Patterson’s website ReadKiddoRead.com also sponsors the D.E.A.R. movement and is chalk full of recommended book lists and parenting advice to encourage reading.  You can search book lists by age, topic, or genre.

Lesson Plans

You might be looking for a way to incorporate D.E.A.R. time into your instruction time. This lesson plan on readwritethink.org includes tips to integrate D.E.A.R. time into a 3rd-5th grade classroom. It includes questions to ask during book chats, reading logs, as well as ways to utilize volunteers to encourage reading.

Now you’re ready to make D.E.A.R. Day a memorable part of your students’ learning experience.

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