School is not a good place to read, or enjoy reading. To concentrate on reading, a student should block out the sounds of the neighbor sitting next to her, the drone of the lunchroom crowd, and the teacher interrupting every 15 – 20 minutes to give instructions or move members of a group to another spot. If I was a student in a classroom in 2015, I’d be in big trouble in reading class. Location, location, location, they say. Well, a classroom is not a workable environment for any type of reading, practice or pleasure.
The considerations surrounding environment inside a classroom mostly circle around the cost of creating a comfortable space. Yes, I know, you can buy remnant carpets and reuse old book boxes economically. I hunt and peck through yard sales, and ask people to give their former furniture pieces. I shop the sales. However, school is still just NOT home. Not comfortable. Not peaceful for reading.
Some say “it’s not about the furnishings and decorations.” They are right. It’s not. I have plenty of books. Thousands, even. I’m still unpacking boxes this year, and students love to discover the new titles on the shelves. But where can they sit to enjoy reading those books? How is a student supposed to stay engaged in the reading when the environment is not an engaging place?
Just wondering…those 5 Lenses of Powerful Instruction are on my mind this evening.