When I first started teaching, 19 years ago, I didn’t really know understand how to teach kids how to read. I knew that fostering a love of books was important; modeling, discussing and making connections to text were also critical, but I just didn’t really know the process to helping young children do that independently. Seeing a young child’s eyes light up when listening to a new book was special but watching a child read it all by themselves was nothing short of magical! As I grew as an educator, and learned more about what kids needed to be readers, I knew that l needed to change how I did business in our classroom to really make the most difference. I read professional development books, I tried new strategies, and designed a learning environment that gave students the opportunity to practice reading everyday through small group, and 1:1 guided instruction. In time, I saw drastic changes in my students. Behaviours settled, we grew closer as a community of learners, and children began to see themselves as readers! Through a whole class, and small group approach to increase reading in Grade 1 students, we developed so much more than just learning to read; we learned to love reading! We became story tellers, writers, explorers, artists, and we also became a family; all through books, and the love of reading!