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How to Use the DEAR Reading Program

written by: dawn m. laughlin • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 1/20/2012

DEAR stands for Drop Everything And Read. You tell the students to stop what they are doing and get out their books. The program is meant to encourage independent reading and to help children want to read more at home.

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    Drop Everything

    In our busy classrooms, it's hard to fit everything in during the day. DEAR is a great reading program from Deb Foertsch that makes time in the classroom for reading.

    In our classroom the children pick the books they want and they can go anywhere in the class to read by themselves. Some sit in the cubbies, on the rug and even on their bellies under a desk.

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    How DEAR Works

    After the children have picked the book they want to read and choose a quiet place in the room to read, the teacher sets a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. If you are just starting with younger children, you could begin with 10 minutes. Ideally these should be daily sessions.

    When the student has finished the reading for the day, they write in their reading logs. You can get ideas for these in the web resource at Deb Foertsch has all the tools there to go with the program she developed. You have to type in A Daily Dear Program to get to the actual site. The web resource has everything you need to get started.

    Next comes the teacher conference. Here the teacher guides the student to give more information from their book, to expand on the comprehension. A big part of the program is the PAL or Partners Assisting Literacy. These are adult volunteers that listen to the children read and tell about their selections. There are also guidelines for the PALs on the web resource.

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    Putting it all Together

    So the process is this:

    • Drop Everything And Read
    • Record in logs
    • Teacher conference
    • PAL conference
    • Written note to student in mailbox

    I have really seen this grow in our school from the early grades. The students look forward to reading and sharing the books they read.

    The site has all the information you will need so check it out and happy reading.