So last summer I read a wonderful book. You can follow or read her blog here.
This is a fantabulous read that every teacher needs to experience. I am a reader. I love to read. My husband is the same way. We are high school sweethearts and his mother likes to tell a story on us.
I was over at his house one night. We were alone in the living room and it was really quiet, so I guess she decided she needed to check on us. Remember, we were in high school. She walks into the living room and busts out laughing when she sees us. We were on opposite ends of the couch reading our own books. Our feet were touching in the middle. We both just looked up at her when she laughed. Then she left us alone, we smiled at each other, and went back to reading. :)
So back to the present....
One of my goals as a teacher is to inspire my students to read for enjoyment. I read all the time. I read to escape into a new world, share a common story with a friend, or to learn something new.
I just want to share a few quotes from the book. They really got me thinking and I hope they do the same for you.
"I know that students who read widely and can talk and think critically about the books they are reading have little trouble doing well on standardized reading assessments, and my students reinforce my beliefs by acing the state test every year. I am not just talking about the gifted readers either; I am talking about students who had failed the test the year before and were at risk of failing it again."
"Instead of narrowing my instructional focus to test prep, I prefer to teach reading standardized tests as its own genre. Here's how you read a map, here's how you read a newspaper article; and here's how you read a test."
"The goals of all assessments should be to celebrate the accomplishments of readers, promote and plan for future reading, and foster the collaboration of a reading community."
"Because reading has more impact on students' achievement than any other activity in school, setting aside time for reading must be the first activity we teachers write on our lesson plans, not the last. It is said that we make time for what we value, and if we value reading, we much make time for it."
"If teachers control reading, we never give ownership of it to students. Students will not walk out of our classrooms with internal motivation to read if they see reading as an act that takes place only in school under the control of their teachers. Reading ultimately belongs to readers, not schools, and not schoolteachers."
What do you think?
I am building reading time into my daily schedule. Some days we will have 2 times dedicated to "just" reading. We will be taking books with us around the building. When there is an interruption in the room, they will get out their books and read. Whenever they finish their work, they will read.
This will be my expectation and our goal together. I will work with each student to find the books they like. I have a classroom library and we have a wonderful school library to choose from daily and weekly.
I hope this gets you thinking. I know it made me reevaluate.
If you are interested here are my posts about the book from last summer.
Whisper - Reading Notebooks
Reading Interest Survey
Getting ready to read The Book Whisperer