I have a student who grumbles every time we do a new reading project. I asked why the grumbles, and he said, “I just want to read.”
I totally agree! While teaching students to love reading, we teachers are also finding ways to assess/grade/report standards of learning so that our reading classes are successful in an administrator’s eye. Various methods are acceptable. Reading logs, comprehension checks, menus, games, and even tests are used in classrooms across the country to “prove” that students achieve the goals set forth by the school. Many archaic lesson plans are out-of-date now, or no longer acceptable as best practice ways to teach reading. What is a student to do? What are teachers to do? Conversations are ongoing…and fascinating!
Sometimes, though, as a reader, I just want to read.
March 10, 2016 at 2:11 PM
If we want readers, we must give them time to read. Wish the mandate writers would figure that out.
March 10, 2016 at 2:39 PM
As a reader I love to talk with other readers about books I want to talk about — talk in person or blog. I wonder if this type of response would get you the information you need and them the purpose they desire!
March 10, 2016 at 3:23 PM
Such a hard thing to balance. I’ve found that conferring and giving as much time as possible for just reading helps… but there will always be those times where they need to work on things, and they wish they could just read!
March 10, 2016 at 3:44 PM
YES! I have been having this conversation with myself a lot lately. I try to make sure that my students’ reading experiences are authentic. This is the best way to build lifelong readers, I think.
March 10, 2016 at 8:09 PM
Amen! I can preach about this topic all day long!
March 10, 2016 at 8:33 PM
I wish more people were having this conversation. We get better at something by doing it- a lot. Learning to drive, cooking, singing, mud wrestling, etc. They don’t spend time on proving how it’s going-the proof is in the act. How can we more authentically assess and support our readers? Thanks for slicing about this important topic.
March 10, 2016 at 8:40 PM
I really struggle with this debate. I always have to ask myself why I am doing what I’m doing. I have finally fallen back to the fact that I want my high school students reading. I have conferences with them, but beyond that I just feel like it needs to work for them. At this point in the year I have nonreaders loving their books…some of them for the first time ever. I have students who tell me their book isn’t working for them and they plan to get a new one and proceed to name the genre/author/series. This is huge progress form the beginning of the year. There is power in letting them read.
March 10, 2016 at 10:24 PM
If you have readers who just “want to read,” I’d say you are a successful teacher!
March 11, 2016 at 4:05 PM
This reminds me of a student I had once who didn’t want to stop reading to mark her thinking on sticky notes. I eventually let go and let her just read and she was so happy. (She was such a voracious reader that she earned herself a spot on Al Roker’s Today Show Book Club that year!)
March 11, 2016 at 10:32 PM
It’s hard to find the balance. I was “grading” response notebooks yesterday in a classroom where I was substituting. We spent some time brainstorming ways to respond that don’t interrupt the flow of reading. Are reader response notebooks authentic? Do we keep responses when we read as adults? I put sticky notes in the book, reread a bit and then I’m ready to talk.